Saturday, 17 August 2019

Recipe: Chanterelles with pappardelle

This week I scooped a really nice haul (910g) of wild Chanterelle mushrooms, foraged from the woods near where I live, and I decided I had to cook a dish which made them stars of the show.

So this is my recipe...

Ingredients: (serves 2)
A "good quantity" of wild Chanterelles (I used about 500g of mine, but fewer would be OK)
60g smoked pancetta or bacon, diced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
25g butter
25g Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
200g fresh pasta (I used homemade pappardelle)
1 sprig of fresh Sage (or any other herb you like), chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.

Clean and prepare the mushrooms. NB: This can take quite a while because wild mushrooms often contain a fair amount of grit, bits of leaf, etc. I brush mine to remove most of the debris, and then briefly wash them just prior to cooking)

Chanterelles roughly cleaned but not yet washed

If using homemade pasta - make your pasta in advance. Simple egg pasta only requires two ingredients - eggs and 00-grade flour. The proportions are one large egg to 100g flour. 100g pasta serves one person.

Cut your pancetta or bacon into small cubes.

Peel and chop the onion
Grate the cheese
Bring a large pan of water to the boil
Now you're ready to start cooking!

Fry the pancetta and onion in the sunflower oil, until slightly brown at the edges, then turn the heat right down.

In another frying-pan, fry the recently-washed Chanterelles over a medium heat, with no added liquid or fat. The mushrooms will initially release a lot of liquid...

 As they cook this will be re-absorbed, and when they are cooked they will be almost dry again.

When you judge that the mushrooms are nearly ready (this depends on many different factors, such as the freshness of the mushrooms and the quantity used), cook and drain the pasta. Fresh pasta only takes about 3 - 5 minutes.

Now tip the pancetta and onions (including the fat) into the pan of mushrooms. Add the butter and chopped Sage and stir to incorporate. Taste, and season if necessary.

Put the pasta in suitable bowls and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the grated Pecorino on top. Serve immediately!

Our meal was accompanied by a salad of tomatoes garnished with thinly sliced onion and a few leaves of fresh Thyme, plus some lettuce - all homegrown - and a bottle of nice Chianti Classico.

I used one of these "Long Red Florence" onions for the salad.

The green leaves seemed too good to throw away, so I chopped them and put some in both the salad and the main dish too.

So there you have it: my tribute to the wild Chanterelle.


  1. Oh boy I'm jealous! Today I found ONE chanterelle, we haven't had decent rain since midsummer, so no mushrooms of any kind anymore. But if rains will come, we'll having chanterelles again.
    I have a question for you; you are the vegetable garden guru to me. Can parsnips be eaten now, before frosts? This is the first time ever I have been growing them, and I haven't picked any of them, because everywhere they say "parsnips are harvested after the first frosts"... Actually, I don't even know if there is anything below soil, but leaves look nice and healthy.

    1. Yes, you CAN eat parsnips before the first frost, but they probably won't taste as good. If I were you I'd wait until those nice healthy leaves die down. At present they will be collecting sunshine to create energy for the plant, which will be stored in its root for later on. I'm looking forward to harvesting Ceps soon. Round here they are usually at their peak at about the end of September and early October.

  2. Thank you! So, I just have to have some patience...
    We have lost our cep harvest this year (but I have some dried ceps left from last summer), but this is how it goes, there is good mushroom years and poor years.


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