20 Jun 2012

Pungent Mushroom Ragu: Penne Alla Funghi Multiple with Baguette and Salad

Hugh's brilliant book - Veg

This dish is inspired by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's new book - Veg - which solely contains vegetarian recipes. And I sincerely recommend this book - it's been a long while since I have read a cookbook that has inspired my to the same extent as this one has. The book is well crafted and filled with tempting recipes, plus, it is grounded on an ideology that I find admirable. I encourage connoisseurs of good food to have a look at this book - for those not particularly interested in vegetarian cooking, he has also published a number of beautiful books on for example meat and fish.

Here is a link (just click on the picture) to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls latest book. A good number of delicious recipes - including the one that inspired this one!

Dried mushrooms gathered last autumn

As previously mentioned on the blog, my brother and I have diligently scoured the local woods in search of edible mushrooms where we discovered a wide range of delicious treats on our hunt. We of course didn't eat the entire catch last fall so we dried a fair share of the mushroom and placed them in jars for future reference. Dried mushroom can be stored for eons. You can toss them straight into stews but it is recommend to allow them to rest 30 minutes or so in hot water so they can expand and regain their original size. In this way, you reclaim your old mushroom and simultaneously you are left with a powerful mushroom broth which some claim you should throw away but I use for the cooking.

Pungent Mushroom Ragu: Penne Alla Funghi Multiple with Baguette and Salad
Sliced mushrooms

I used five different types of mushrooms for this dish. I of course could have used fewer - but sometimes you're simply on a roll and you have to go with the flow. I bought a few portabello mushrooms, wild mushrooms and I also had a few whites ones in the fridge. Then I used dried chantarelles from last autumn along with a few Boletus badius which is an exceptionally tasty pored mushroom that can be found all over south of Sweden during autumn. They were allowed to soak for 30 minutes in hot water before they were added to the dish.

It is important to fry them, and release their flavours

I then cut half a white onion into small pieces, 3 gloves of garlic and fried in a dash of olive oil. Next, I fried the mushrooms, not all at once, until they began to take on color at which I placed them to the side and proceeded to fry the remaining ones until all of them were cooked. Then everything is returned to the pan; both the fresh and the re-moistened mushrooms which are fried for a couple of minutes. To this I then added 200 ml of creme fraiche, seasoning and around 200 ml of the mushroom liquid. Allowed it to reach a boil - and scattered a few handfuls of fresh parsley over.

The Mushrooms rolling in the sauce

Boiled the pasta as laws prescribe in richly salted water until al dente. The dinner was served with a freshly baked baguette and nip of red wine. 

Trivento Mixtus
Only a touch from a bag-in-box in light of the fact that it is weekday. We had a bag-in-box from Trivento which is a red wine from Argentina. This is a blend of Cabernet - Merlot from 2010. It has been difficult to restore faith in Merlot grapes after the main protagonist in the movie Sideways, Miles, so memorably decried them. Apparently the sales of of Merlot wines dramatically shrunk after the film made it big. On the other hand, Miles had a great passion for Pinot wines - whose sales skyrocketed instead. In any case, this is quite a nice bag-in-box. Rather powerful, on the drier side with a good filling and pleasant aftertaste. Provided a nice basis for the food which was very flavorful and particularly delicious.

Bon appetit! 

P.s. Again! - just a reminder about my site on facebook: The Doctor in the Kitchen - hope to see you there! Regards, Ragnar.

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