Liguini with Marsala Chanterelles & Rosemary
Marsala, the sweet, Sicilian dessert wine, most famous as an ingredient in Zabaione or as a wonderful base for rich sauces for chicken or veal... but wonderful in so many more ways and in so many more dishes! Such as this one!
On a spur of the moment whim, I reached out for the Marsala just as I was finishing preparing these beautiful Chanterelles- I think it was the perfume of the rosemary and garlic that was coming from the sizzling frying pan and I briefly considered a splash of white wine to deglaze it... but no! Suddenly the thought was there to use Marsala instead and it was not a though I could shake... mostly because it sounded pretty good to me!
But, first things first and of course the very first thing to do here was to boil the pasta, which meant just 7-8 minutes for the linguini... great! That meant I needed to hurry preparing the rest- haha!
Just kidding- the chanterelles had been cleaned and drained dry earlier- submerged completely in water, I gave them a good rub, drained them, repeated with fresh water and the drained again. I then left them to dry out for a while and in the meantime finely chopped a good sized shallot and a half clove of garlic. I also chopped a sprig of rosemary as well as a good pinch of parsley- these would be important later...
Ok, so the pasta had just been popped into the saucepan and I was ready to start with the mushrooms, which I fried in a teaspoon of clarified butter. This gave them a great flavor but had the added benefit that it would not burn and go black during frying at a high temperature. So, I sautéed the chanterelles at a high heat for a minute or so before adding the shallot, garlic and rosemary- yum, yum! Now it suddenly started to smell good in the kitchen all at once!
I seasoned with salt, pepper, a little nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne and kept tossing everything thoroughly to get everything nice and brown- but of course the onion and garlic were so finely chopped that the pan did need deglazing... queue Marsala! Into the frying pan it went- just a good splash, enough to just barely cover the base of the pan, but enough to raise up all of the good flavors and to infuse into the mushrooms. I added just a tablespoon of cream, a tiny squeeze of lemon juice and the chopped parsley, tossed them through one last time and was ready to serve!
I drained the pasta and added a pat of butter to it, stirred it through and then set it out on my plate. I spooned the aromatic mushrooms over the top, added a last pinch of black pepper, a sprinkle of grated parmesan and a sprig of rosemary to garnish- and bang! Elegant and delicious pasta in just 10 minutes... need I say more? :-)