Sunday, 7 July 2013

Summertime Gold

Linguine con Finferli, Pancetta & Piselli
Linguini with Chanterelles, Snow Peas & Bacon

The next seasonal sensation at the market hall yesterday was the arrival of the first chanterelles- so wonderful! These were particularly nice, delicate small ones- perfect for making a wonderful pasta dish like this!

The Germans call chanterelles, "Pfifferlinge"- what a cute word! It is derived from the noun "pfeifen"- "to whistle" and in this context means as much as, "little whistlers"- the reason being that when they cook and give off steam, they make a weird little wheezing, "whistling" sound... if you have a bit of imagination. But my mushrooms didn't whistle when I fried them... let me tell you why...

People have all kinds of weird theories when it comes to cleaning mushrooms, thinking they will become waterlogged if they stay in the water too long and also that the chanterelles, which do tend to be rather sandy, will get damaged whilst washing. People do strange things like adding lots of flour to the water, so that it acts as an abrasive  agent to rub away the dirt... but look- just get some water in a bowl, add the mushrooms and rub a little. 

Drain off the water, add fresh water and repeat. Do it 3-4 times and you should be ok. Then spread the mushrooms out and let them dry out for 30-60 minutes. Just think ahead and be ahead of the game. The water won't hurt the mushrooms- I mean, they get rained on out in the woods don't they? Just let them dry out- because of course, it is also true that a soggy mushroom can only end up tasting like and even soggier mushroom... and nobody wants that!

Once the mushrooms were dry, I started the pasta boiling and got a little finely diced bacon sizzling in the frying pan. I added the chanterelles and a little crushed garlic and stir-fried them for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime, I cut a handful of snow-peas into little diagonals and added them, along with some finely chopped parsley and thyme. I seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg, fried for a further 1-2 minutes and then drained the pasta, which was now almost al-dente and added it with a little of the cooking water to the mushrooms.

I stirred everything together, added more pepper and nutmeg and a little splash of milk and tossed the pasta together for the following 2-3 minutes until all of the liquid was absorbed, had taken on all of the flavor of the mushrooms, bacon, garlic, herbs and nutmeg- and then served it up with some freshly grated salted ricotta cheese. 

I don't think I need to tell you that it tasted divine, do I? But you know what? It did!
go make yourselves some- you know you want to! And you know you're going to like it! Buon appetito!

No comments:

Post a Comment