MUSHROOM SAUCE FOR PASTA SERVES 2
Wild mushrooms have wonderful flavour and I use them to make this seasonal sauce – hedgehog fungus, ceps, chanterelles – but you can use cultivated ones instead. Adding some dried porcini (as the Italians call ceps) that have been soaked in hot water for 20 minutes will give a bit of wildness to the flavour. Wild mushroom assortments are available from outlets like Fallon & Byrne in Dublin and from some local markets. (Don’t eat wild foraged wild mushrooms unless you know exactly what they are and that they are non-toxic).
BUTTER 100G BACON LARDONS 1 SHALLOT, FINELY CHOPPED 2 GARLIC CLOVES, FINELY CHOPPED 250G MIXED WILD MUSHROOMS, SLICED 150ML DRY WHITE WINE 200ML DOUBLE CREAM 75G PARMESAN, GRATED SEA SALT BLACK PEPPER
Melt a generous knob of butter in a heavy pan. Chop the bacon very finely and cook in the butter until starting to colour. Then turn down the heat and add the shallot and garlic and cook very gently until soft. Add the mushrooms and turn up the heat. The mushrooms may produce a lot of liquid but don’t worry; just let it evaporate off. When the liquid has gone, turn down the heat again and cook the mushrooms gently until they start to colour, stirring all the time. Add the wine and turn up the heat to burn off the alcohol. When the wine has mostly evaporated, add the cream and stir until it thickens. Take off the heat, add the Parmesan and let it melt into the sauce. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce is now ready to be tossed with pasta.