Ethereal is the only word we could think of to describe this dish. Unctuous, that works as well! It’s the next best thing to actually being in Italy. A bit of work if you make your own fresh pasta, but so worth the effort. Involve the whole family and I’m sure the pasta will disappear as soon as it is put on the table. There is much controversy about truffle oil – and much of it tastes pretty lame, but this brand really works if the budget doesn’t allow for shaved black truffles (and whose does?).
Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce:
4 strips of Neiman Ranch bacon or other high quality lean organic bacon
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 hot pepper (chilaca or chile negro if possible), seeded and ribs removed, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
2 T olive oil
3 C chanterelle mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 C dry white wine
1 tsp salt
1/4 C Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp black truffle oil (Etruria brand preferred)
3/4 C grated Organic Parmesan Reggiano
Make pasta as directed below or purchase 1 pound of fresh spinach pasta. This sauce goes perfectly with fresh pasta.
Cut strips of bacon crosswise into 1/4 inch strips. Place in heavy sauté pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until some fat is rendered. If it is a high quality bacon there won’t be very much fat rendered. Add onion and hot pepper and stir to coat with fat. Continue cooking until onion is translucent.
Add olive oil and mushrooms, stirring to combine. Saute covered until mushrooms begin to render some juice. Add wine and salt and sauté uncovered over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. Add parsley, stir and remove from heat. Add truffle oil and stir to finish. Cover and set aside until pasta is cooked.
Top pasta with sauce and some of the grated cheese – toss and pass extra cheese at table. If Wineandjoy will forgive me offering a wine choice, we both cooked with and served a reasonably-priced Chateau Martinon ( a white Bordeaux) 2006 – which blended perfectly with the meal.
2 C raw spinach, moderately packed
1 T olive oil
1 T water
2 extra large eggs
2 C sifted unbleached organic flour
Remove stems from spinach, wash and steam with water clinging to leaves until soft. Cool, remove from pan and gently squeeze to remove extra water.
Place spinach, oil and water in food processor with metal blade. Turn on for 5 seconds to emulsify spinach. Scrape sides of bowl down and turn on for 5 more seconds. Scrape down again and add eggs. Blend again for a few seconds. Add 1 C of the flour and run for 5 seconds. Add 2nd cup and run processor until dough forms a ball and rides up on the spindle. Remove to dough to lightly floured board and knead a few times until it forms a well-formed ball. Cut into four sections, shaping each section in a ball and cover with a large bowl. Let dough rest 1 hour to relax gluten.
Process each section of dough through hand-cranked pasta machine, starting with number 1, twice through each number up through number 4, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. This is the correct thickness for tagliatelle or fettucine. Let sheets of dough rest for one hour then run through cutter for tagliatelle, or cut by hand.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add 2 T salt and pasta. When pasta rises to top (about one minute), the pasta is finished. Remove with a slotted scoop to serving dish. Top with sauce.