Monday, April 23, 2012

Pappardelle with Morel Cream Sauce

One of our favorite things about spring is that morel mushrooms taunt us and force us to tromp through the woods in search of them. The are amazingly good. Normally, we aren't as fortunate as we were this year, and we just get a couple of morels that we bread with cracker crumbs and pan fry. This year, however, we found quite a few our first time out, so we tried our hand at a Morel Cream sauce.

Here's what you need:
About 1/2 lb fresh morel mushrooms (you can use dried too, you just have to re-hydrate them)
3 Tbsp butter, divided
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
1 package pappardelle pasta

Here's what you do:
If you found fresh morels, soak them in water when you get home to remove the dirt. It should all float to the bottom. If the base of the stems look dirty still, feel free to slice them off.

Remove the morels from the water and slice.

While you have a knife in your hand, mince up the shallot.

And finally, mince up the garlic.

Put a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter.

Put the shallots and garlic in the pan.

Let those saute for a couple of minutes, then add the morels in. Toss it all together to coat it in the butter.

Let the morels soften for another couple of minutes, then add the white wine.

And add the balsamic vinegar. Also, season with salt and pepper.

Let that reduce until it is almost completely dry.

Pour in 3/4 cup of water. Let that reduce until there is only about 2 tablespoons of liquid left.

Reduce the heat to medium to medium low and add the cream. You don't want your cream to burn. Let this simmer and stir frequently, making sure to get all the way into the corners of the pan. You'll also want to start boiling your water for the pasta at this point.

Let the cream sauce reduce by half and thicken. 

Once the sauce has thickened, add a tablespoon of butter. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

If your cream sauce reduces before your pasta is ready, drop the heat to low and stir occasionally. Don't let your sauce boil, or it will separate. You don't want that.

Drain the pasta and add it directly into the sauce, and mix it up to coat it.

This meal was rich and delicious and amazingly tasty. Though, anything with morel mushrooms in it is amazingly tasty to us.


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