California Central Coast Recipes
Fusilli with Wild Mushrooms
The following recipe is one that uses Oyster, Shiitake, and dried Porcini Mushrooms. Here on the Central Coast we have access to superb fresh oyster and Shiitake mushrooms at our Farmers Markets. You can find the dried Porcini in the produce section of most trendy grocery stores.
This is pretty easy to make and can be thrown together quickly but yet makes a very elegant presentation to guests. If you can find it, the long fusilli is the most dramatic to use, but the shorter version works well. Have fun with this!
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 garlic cloves minced
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves - no stems and a few reserved sprigs for garnish
1/3 lb. oyster mushrooms sliced
1/3 lb. Shiitake mushrooms sliced
1 oz. dried Porcini mushrooms soaked, drained and sliced
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup filtered drained water from soaked porcini mushrooms
Parmesan cheese freshly grated for table
1 Soak the Porcini mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. When hydrated, drain and filter through a sieve saving the filtered mushroom water. Heat the filtered water to get it hot, but not boiling. Reserve it for adding to the mixture if needed.
2 In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the garlic and the thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
3 Add the Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms to the pan, sauté for a few minutes, then add the hydrated Porcini mushrooms. At this point you may have to add a little additional olive oil.
4 Turn up the heat to high and continue to sauté and slightly brown the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are lightly browned, add the wine to de-glaze the sauce (for added moisture and taste). Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add some of the reserved Porcini water.
5 At this point taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt to taste and several grinds of freshly cracked pepper.
6 In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large stockpot of boiling water, for about 10 minutes to al dente or as directed on the package. When done, remove and drain the pasta well.
7 Add the drained pasta to the finished sauce. Toss well to distribute the mushroom mixture. Correct seasonings to taste.
8 Serve on individual dinner plates and top each portion with sprigs of thyme.
9 Be sure to have plenty of Parmesan cheese available on the table.
Mushrooms go especially well with red wine. A good Syrah (Shiraz) or a young Zinfandel would work well with this meal.