This is so simple, it’s not really a recipe, but a guide to ‘What the fuck do I do with wild pine mushrooms?’
If you’re lucky, like Marrickville is, there will be a Mushroom Lady/Guy at your local markets on Sundays. When pine mushrooms are in season (April-May, I *think*. It’s short, anyway), a good supplier will have them available.
When cooking this, keep in mind they are not your every day mushroom. They taste pine-y, for a start. They have absorbed the flavours of the forest (where you assume they have been picked from, considering they are ‘wild’). They also have a very different texture to button mushrooms – almost sponge like.
They don’t last very long, either. I highly recommend cooking them the day of purchase.
Having said that, they cook very much the same.
(This serves about 3 people, or one normal eater and a very tall and skinny boyfriend with hollow legs)
200g wild pine mushrooms
1 clove garlic, sliced finely
Few sprigs of thyme
Splash of white wine*
Salt and pepper
1. Put the papparadelle on to boil in plenty of boiling, salted, water.
2. Once the pasta has started cooking, heat some olive in a large frying pan. It has to be large, as you’ll be adding the pasta later.
3. Fry the garlic and thyme over a medium flame, taking care not to burn the garlic. Splash in the wine, allowing it to burn off the alcohol (and minute or so).
4. Add the mushrooms. Once they look soft, pour in the cream. Don’t let the cream boil, just simmer it until the pasta is ready (a couple of minutes at the most. If the pasta takes too long, take the mushroom sauce off the heat).
5. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid of using salt, people. It is your friend.
6. Use a pasta thingy (I can’t remember what they’re called!) or tongs to lift the pasta from the boiling water and into the frying pan. Add a few splashes of the water as well. This helps thicken the sauce.
7. Toss the sauce through the pasta (or just mix it like a normal person). Serve with the rest of the wine.
*I am in two minds about the wine. While it adds a nice flavour, it kinda brings out a mild bitterness in the mushrooms. I think the sauce would be lacking in complexity if it was missing, so use it, I guess, but not too liberally.