A chef’s prized winter ingredient: foraged mushrooms
In the winter months you’ll find Head Chef of The Conservatory at The Cellars-Hohenort, Paul Nash foraging on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountains as well as in the Tsitsikamma pine forests. “I gather various types of edible mushrooms,” says Nash. “My favourite kind of mushroom is the pine ring, which is also known as the saffron milk cap.
“During April, May and June I forage for porcinis, and when I find a lot, too many to eat fresh, I slice them thinly and dry them out to use again in the winter. I add them to pasta dishes or to any warm, wintery dishes to pack extra flavour and body into the dish.”
Here is a quick and tasty mushroom pasta dish; full of flavour to enjoy on a winter’s day.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
- 500g Tagliatelle
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup dried porcini
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup full cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
To rehydrate the mushrooms, place them in a bowl with two cups of water and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Water should be warm and not boiling hot. Drain the water from the mushrooms and slice into pieces, keep the stock of the mushrooms to add to your sauce at a later stage.
Slice your onions and chop your garlic. Heat your pan to a medium heat and add the butter and olive oil, once the oil is hot add the onions and garlic and sauté until golden brown, add the hydrated chopped mushrooms and then the white wine and reduce the wine down in the pan to a 1/3.
Add the cream and the mushroom /vegetable stock and let reduce until the desired taste has developed, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to break the richness of the cream in the dish.
Just before the sauce is ready to serve grate half of the Parmesan cheese into the sauce and pull of the heat, add the fresh chopped parsley and serve with your al dente cooked pasta.