Pasta and mushroom cream sauce – though technically without cream, a white sauce made umami delicious with a healthy portion of fresh chanterelles and just a hint of salty parmesan.
This comes together in less than a half hour and served with a simple salad (think butter lettuce and oil and vinegar) makes one wonderful meal.
This is one of those meals I’ll eat on my own when I’m cold and tired and feeling lazy. This is also a meal I’ll make for the friend that stops by unexpectedly (actually that never happens, not the lunch but the unexpected)- because chanterelles are often unexpected gifts just like impromptu (I do impromptu better than unexpected) lunches with good friends.
It’s Chanterelle season! It’s chanterelle season!
That said, I am not in the club, the know, the society of foragers and found things. Mushroom hunting grounds are secret sacred spots. Everyone seems to have one and they will not share, they will gloat and occasionally dole out a bag or two of golden chanterelles (it’s been a good year for us in the mushroom gift department!) but not say where they got them except in the vaguest of terms, a wave in a direction, a gesture towards the hills.
Not that I trust myself to correctly identify any mushroom out in nature, other than a morel, and no one wants to be that person, the one that inadvertently poisoned their friends and family. When I was little we would bring mushrooms of questionable origin to my Aunt Sally for identification- thinking about it now I’m not sure how she acquired her mushroom knowledge but she always seemed to have an answer.
If you want to forage for your own mushrooms
This outdoor life article has tips for springtime morel mushroom hunting
and this article is all about foraging for chanterelles
Other recipes for chanterelles (or mushrooms in general)
I just finished listening to the first episode of Cooking by Ear “Frances McDormand and Risotto”. It turns out she can’t get anyone to show them where they forage for mushrooms either. Also, it was one of the better cooking shows I’ve ever watched and it was audio only but somehow more- the talk of chanterelles was enchanting. It’s not asparagus season but I’ve gotta try that risotto soon.
I love mushroom gravy!
This heartier version with guinness is great for lunch or dinner
Or for breakfast for two try this biscuits and mushroom gravy
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
mushroom pasta- aka- simple chanterelle cream sauce and spaghetti
- a pot for boiling the noodles (5 or 6 quart)
- a pan for cooking the sauce (10.5 inch cast iron is my go to)
- a fork for whisking
- a cheese grater for grating
- a sharp knife for cutting
- half a package (8 ounces) of long pasta, spaghetti or angel hair
- 4-5 ounces of fresh chanterelle mushrooms- roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter I used salted and added no other salt except in Parmesan form
- 2 small or 1 large clove of garlic thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- pepper flakes to taste
- grated parmesan to taste somewhere between a two tablespoons fresh grated and 3/4 cup
- fresh parsley or basil for garnish and yum arugula would also be great
- heat and salt the water for your pasta
- add the chopped mushrooms to a preheated dry pan (I use cast iron over medium heat) and cook until most of the moisture has been released and the mushrooms are just beginning to brown (8-15 minutes usually)- don’t worry if the mushrooms stick to the pan a little as long as nothing is burning you are fine
- reduce the heat slightly and add the butter and garlic to the pan
- when the butter is melted add the flour and stir until the flour has no more dry bits (those make lumps and clumps)
- add the milk and whisk with a fork, increasing the heat again to medium, until no flour lumps remain and the sauce is just simmering and beginning to thicken- reduce the heat to low and cook your pasta- stirring the sauce occasionally
- when the pasta is done cooking drain it and add to the sauce in the pan, toss to coat and serve topping with the parmesan, pepper flakes, and greens