THE CORVALLIS CARROT
1 lb Chanterelles
(the fresher the better)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 oz onion (1/4 of a medium)
1 c cream
1 1/4 oz asiago cheese (or parm)
2 T olive oil
1 c flour
salt and pepper
Today we had to go out into the October sun to go hiking. I love the fall, it's my favorite season. It's not too hot, not too cold, smelling smoke from woodburning ovens, seeing the colors on the trees, I love it all. I really love finding delicious mushrooms on our hikes. It's such an added perk to living in the NW. Whenever you go mushroom hunting be sure to bring a knife with you so you can cut the mushrooms off at the root. I write this in retrospect, we forgot our knife on this hike, but it won't happen next time. Chanterelles can reproduce year after year if the root has been taken (this is not true for all mushrooms) but you aren't going to eat the root so it's best just to leave it in the ground so the nutrients can go back into the forest. Check out this site for info on hunting chanterelles. New World Seed Company. Always know what you are eating before you eat it. There are look alikes, it's very important you only pick edible mushrooms.
First thing I did for this dish was make the pasta dough. Making the dough first gives you time to prep for your meal while the dough is resting.
Add your eggs to your flour and mix with a fork. When the mixture starts to come together use your hand to incorporate the 2 ingredients fully. The dough will stick together if you squeeze it.
Transfer dough onto floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth. You may need to add a little more flour to your dough as you knead it. I put a video of kneading the dough on my ravioli page.
Once you've kneaded the dough, transfer it to a plastic bag and let it rest for 45 minutes. I like to set a timer.
While you're dough is resting you can start cooking the mushrooms. If I have a big batch of mushrooms I like to cook them in 2 batches. You don't want to overcrowd your mushrooms. They release a lot of liquid and you want to sear, not steam, them. Put 2 T of oil in a pan and let it get hot before adding your mushrooms, once you've added them make sure they're not sitting on top of each other and then let them cook. Like I have said before, do not sirt them. You may want to, but just let them cook.
While the mushrooms are cooking you can prepare the rest of your mise en place.
Dice onions, grate cheese, mince garlic, measure out cream.
When mushrooms have a good sear on them add a little salt and pepper and then transfer them to a bowl while you cook your remaining mushrooms.
When your second batch of mushrooms has finished caramelizing add your onions and lower the temperature to low-medium heat.
When your timer has gone off for the dough you want to shape it a little. Rolling and folding the dough is going to help make the gluten stronger so the dough won't fall apart when added to boiling water. You don't want to work your gluten too much though, it will get tough. In the slideshow below I show pictures of rolling out the dough and folding it in half.
Place dough on floured surface.
Roll dough into a rectangle.
Cover with plastic so the dough doesn't dry out.
Place dough on floured surface.
After you've rolled out your dough and let it rest for another 5 minutes you can go back to your mushrooms. I like to have the onions caramelize a little before adding the garlic. You can add your garlic a little sooner than this, but the less cooked it is the spicier it's going to be, and my family is a big fan of garlic. Add the cream.
Cover and then go back to your pasta dough.
Also, start your pot of water for boiling the pasta. You want to add a good amount of salt to the water 2 t or so. A woman I met in Italy told me that "the water for cooking pasta should taste like the sea".
Roll out dough. However long you want your noodles to be, that's what the height should be, then just roll out the width to make it thinner.
This is what we call a "Happy Meal" in our house. We had a wonderful day in the woods hunting for mushrooms, then we came home to make dinner together. All together this meal for 3 cost us under 5 dollars. It doesn't get much better than that. Enjoy!
Once I've rolled out my dough I like to flip it, re-flour, and then roll it out more.
If you notice your dough is shrinking when you roll it out, just let it sit for a little bit to let it rest, then go back to rolling.
Pasta should be paper thin. You'll be able to see your fingers through it.
Fold pasta in half, top to bottom.
Fold in half again. (Again, top to bottom)
Slice with cutter. I like to make my paperdelle about an inch wide.
Once you've cut them, unroll and separate pieces. Homemade pasta can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months, so you can roll loosely into balls and freeze, or use them immediately. If you do freeze them you don't want them tightly rolled together because they won't cook properly.
To transfer the noodles I like to use an off-set spatula. This way they retain their shape and won't clump together.
Add noodles to a rolling boil. They will cook in about 1-2 minutes. Because they are so thin they cook very quickly. I cooked mine in 2 batches because you don't want to over crowd your noodles. The temperature of the water will cool down too quickly and your pasta will get gummy.
When your noodles begin to float, they are ready.
Add them to your cream and mushrooms. If the sauce is a little dry, take a little of the water from cooking your pasta and add it to the dish.
When noodles have been coated completely with the sauce add the cheese.
I finished it off with just a little freshly chopped parsley, do me a favor though, keep the parsley off of the rim of the plate. It just looks messy. (Just a little pet peeve- I hate parsely rimmed plates.)