About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Magical Morels

Dried Morels
Some of my family thought of a clever gift for my birthday. I received some dried morels.  Morels are a prized, wild grown type of mushroom.  They are not farmed and someone has to go looking for them in the woods in the spring in North America which makes them a bit pricey but it doesn't take many to make an impact.  Their meaty texture and earthy, nutty flavor add depth to any dish they are used in.  As a bonus, they are highly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  I knew immediately I wanted to pair them with pasta.  This is a free form recipe you need to imagine for yourself.  I'm just listing what I used as a guideline.  Morels and pasta with olive oil and garlic make a fine meal in themselves.

Begin by rehydrating the morels.  Put them in a bowl and cover with very warm water (not boiling). Allow them to sit 20-30 minutes and drain.  Another quick rinse will insure all sand or particulate matter has been removed.  Place them on a clean kitchen cloth to drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

I chopped prosciutto, garlic and grated fresh parmesan. One of the home made condiments I keep in my refrigerator is gremolada (parsley, garlic and lemon zest) so I added that too.  I cooked my fresh pasta and reserved one cup of the cooking water.  I saut├ęd the prosciutto in olive oil, then the garlic of about 30 seconds.  Added the chopped morels and let them cook two minutes.  Then I added the fresh pasta to the pan tossing all the ingredients together.  Then I added half the cooking liquid and a generous amount of parmesan, tossing until creamy.  If you like add some cream at this point or more liquid if necessary.  Serve and garnish with gremolada or chopped basil.