Well, this week marks probably the last time I’ll see fresh morel mushrooms until next spring. That’s OK – that’s one of the great things about trying to eat seasonally – you always have something to look forward to.
For this week’s Presto Pasta Night, I made a dish that used several local and seasonal ingredients – morels, asparagus, chives and goat cheese. While it was very good, the goat cheese in the dish overwhelmed the morels. If there’s anything I’ve learned about morel mushrooms this year, it’s that they stand best on their own, just sauteed a bit in some butter. If I had to make the dish again, I’d probably use a lot more cream and a lot less cheese.
Fettuccine with Morels, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese
recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine (May 1992)
1/2 cup minced shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 pound fresh morels, washed well, patted dry, and trimmed
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces mild goat cheese such as Montrachet, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and cooked in boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
3/4 pound fettuccine
In a heavy skillet cook the shallot in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the wine, and simmer the mixture until the wine is reduced by half. Add the broth and the morels, sliced crosswise, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the morels are tender. Add the cream and the goat cheese and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Stir in the asparagus, the chives, and salt and pepper to taste and keep the sauce warm. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the fettuccine until it is al dente, drain it well, and in a bowl toss the pasta with the sauce.