Sherry's folks, who live in Washington State near Mt. Rainier, go foraging for morel mushrooms every spring. Their success varies from year to year, but this past spring they hit the mother lode. What they don't consume immediately, they dry for later use - some of which get sent to grateful non-foragers like ourselves.
Unable to restrain ourselves, we decided to use about a third of our mushroom care package in a single go. Sherry whipped up a batch of fresh tagliatelle and we measured out about an ounce of the dried mushrooms (they are very light):
After reconstituting them in some warm water and then squeezing them dry, they are ready to use just like fresh ones.
Like most mushrooms, Morels have an affinity for butter. We fried them up with a little garlic and salt until lightly browned in spots.
Stir in a few tablespoons of cream, sprinkles of Pecorino Romano, black pepper and fresh parsley and you have a finished sauce, just lightly coating the pasta.
Tagliatelle with Morels. Earthy, nutty and rich tasting. We have a limited supply of morels, but we just may have to make this dish again.
Here is the recipe that Sherry improvised:
Tagliatelle with Morels
6 ounces fresh tagliatelle
approx 1 ounce dried morel mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
3-4 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano
Freshly ground black pepper
Rehydrate the mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for about 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and squeeze them to remove excess water. Place on a towel to dry a few minutes. (Keep the soaking water for use in other recipes.)
Heat a pan over medium high, add butter, garlic and morels. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cook until mushrooms are browned in spots. Drop the fresh pasta into boiling, salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the mushroom heat to low, stir in the cream and heat gently 1-2 minutes to thicken slightly. Add the cheese, parsley and black pepper. Slowly add the cooked, drained pasta and toss to coat evenly with sauce. Divide into warm bowls and serve immediately.