Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Fusilli with dried porcini, roast tomato and cream

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the palette of a peasant.  I would happily never eat a truffle for the rest of my life, ditto caviar, saffron and super-fatty tuna.

On the above basis, porcini are a mushroom I feel entirely ambivalent about.  However I had a demanding vegetarian round for dinner (so many vegetarian friends at the moment, need to rectify) and a handful (13g to be precise) of very out of date dried porcini to use up.
The above reminds me of what my skin sometimes looks like after a night out these days :-(

Anyway, the following is very loosely based on a recipe in the River Cafe little pasta book - but I took huge liberties, as follows:  I soaked the above 13g in around 50ml of water for about an hour, after which they looked a little perkier.
I sliced the mushrooms, keeping hold of the brown mushroom water, then fried two cloves of sliced garlic in butter and olive oil.  Seriously, isn't the smell of garlic frying in butter one of the top five kitchen smells?  Then I added the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then added in the mushroom water till it evaporated:
Chucked in a bunch of very ripe cherry tomatoes, realised I didn't have enough, so added an M&S roast tomato intense stir through sauce (more of which in the next post.)
and then probably around 150ml / a very generous dollop of single cream:
and finally some parmesan, atop some fusilli.
And now I think I finally sort of get porcini.  The finished pasta was really really delicious.  Creamy and comforting and sweet, rich and earthy and tinged with the feeling that summer is over and autumn is on its way. 

Fusilli worked well - the creamy tomato sauce clinging to the spirals and the mushroom and tomato pieces providing nice little interludes.   Fusilli's such a friendly pasta.   It lets your teeth meet in the middle like a dental high five. 

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