Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Porcini Mushrooms Extravaganza!

I am a big lover of Porcini mushrooms. In Italy you can buy them at about $25/lb. Here in Utah I have heard of only one place that sells them and the price is about $50/lb. A couple of year ago, a friend of mine told me that they are found up in the mountains, at about 9-11,000 feet. We did in fact find them back then and it was a very joyous day for me. Yesterday, we planned another trip. Ale Achilli came along. We left work at 3pm and were up past Woodland by 5pm. We found the first 4-5 right on the side of the road. After about 3 1/2 hours of walking among the beautiful pine trees, we felt satisfied with what we were able to find.

We did not get down to SLC until about 10.30pm and stopped at a grocery store to buy some fresh egg noodles. Although we were soooo tired, we could not wait to taste the gorgeous Porcini. We divided them in three groups: those that were going to be sacrified tonight, those that will be eaten tomorrow, and those that were a little older to be eaten fresh and that we sliced up and start drying to eat in the future in soups or risotto. It was a Porcini feast!!

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms (for 4 people):
- 2 packages fresh egg noodles (we got Buitoni brand - ca. 1/2lb each)
- 1lb fresh Porcini mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste

Boil water for the pasta in a large pot. In the meantime, prepare the Porcini mushrooms as follow: clean the Porcini with a brush or kitchen towel. Remove excess dirt with a knife. Dice the Porcini mushroom and sautee them in a fry pan on medium heat with the olive oil and garlic. Let them cook until tender. Do not overcook or burn them!! Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta to the boiling water. It will cook in less then 3 minutes. Drain and place back in the pot. Add the cooked Porcini mushrooms and stir well. Add more olive oil if necessary. Serve pasta in four bowls and sprinkle with the fresh parsely. Enjoy a trip to heaven!