This is a decadent dinner. One you enjoy on a special occasion with special people, some candlelight and a good bottle of wine. We felt like we were actually dining at Alice Water’s Chez Panisse when we sat down to this lush, umami-filled celebration of wild mushrooms and hand-rolled pasta.
Prep the Mushrooms Clean your mushrooms by brushing off any dirt. If you must, rinse them quickly in warm water, then drain and blot dry. Chop the mushrooms into rough quarters and slices.
Saute the Mushrooms Melt 1 T butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Saute the mushrooms over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, until lightly brown. If they give off liquid, cook until it evaporates and the mushrooms brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Prepare the Onion and Mushroom Mixture In the same pan, melt another tablespoon of butter. Saute 1 medium onion, finely diced, over medium heat until it turns translucent – about 4 minutes. Add 1 tsp chopped thyme, 3 cloves chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and the cooked mushrooms. Turn the heat down and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup creme fraiche and 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth and simmer for 3 minutes, until slightly reduced but still juicy. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 500.
Roll out pasta and cut it into eight 4 1/2″ squares. Cook a few squares at a time in boiling water until they’re barely al dente. Immediately cool them in a cool water bath and lay them flat in one layer on a clean cloth.
Butter four 6″ square earthenware baking dishes, or find something comparable with what you have (we ended up using two baking dishes. everything still tasted amazing.) Put 2 cooked pasta squares side by side in the bottom of each dish, overlapping them slightly at the center, so the pasta edges hang over the sides. Divide the mushroom filling equally among the dishes.
Fold the pasta edges loosely back toward the center over the sauce, leaving a wrinkled, dimpled, butter-collecting surface. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
- 1/2 pound mixed wild mushrooms (chanterelles, porcine, hedgehogs, black trumpets)
- 1/2 stick butter
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced fine
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 pound pasta dough
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 4 handfuls curly cress or arugula
- a few drops of lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil (whenever we say olive oil, you should just assume extra virgin, but I bother to type it out long-hand from time to time)