Mushrooms amaze me. They give so much for so little. One of the least expensive vegetables to be found in the market year-round, the common button mushroom is a treasure of flavor, texture, aroma. A good fresh mushroom needs little embellishment: Here I simply cook the mushrooms in a touch of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, then bathe them in a sauce of reduced light cream and stock. Top the mushrooms with a sheet of pasta, a garnish of parsley and you’ve got dinner on the table.
Equipment: A 10-quart (10 l) pasta pot fitted with a colander; 4 warmed dinner plates
2 cups (500 ml) Homemade Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 cups (500 ml) light cream
1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
1 pound (500 g) mixed domestic or mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and halved
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Four 5-inch (12.5 cm) squares of fresh pasta
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- In a saucepan, combine the stock and cream and reduce by half over high heat, about 15 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, combine the butter, mushrooms, and lemon juice. Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the reduced stock mixture, and stir to coat the mushrooms. Keep the mushrooms warm while finishing the dish.
- Fill the pasta pot with 8 quarts (8 l) of water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the coarse salt and the pasta, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook until tender. Drain.
- Arrange the sauced mushrooms in the center of each dinner plate. Arrange a sheet of pasta on top of the mushrooms. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Wine suggestion: I like white wine with my mushrooms: Try the simple, light, refreshing Picpoul de Pinet from Domaine Félines Jourdain.
AHEAD OF TIME NOTE:
Prepare the mushrooms and sauce earlier in the day, combine them, and refrigerate. At serving time warm them as the water boils for pasta.