“This is a wonderful time of the year when my absolute favourite mushrooms come into season,” says Jesse Zuber, set to take over the stoves as executive chef of Cibo Trattoria when it reopens in the coming week. “But, while this recipe is a delight with beautiful morels, any mushroom works great,” he notes.
“Quick and simple but satisfying is what I’m all about when it comes to home cooking. The chive blossoms add a beautiful aroma and an elegant finishing touch. But if you don’t have a garden gone rogue with chive flowers, regular chives or even parsley make a good substitute.”
Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle With Chive Blossoms
For the pasta
2 ¼ cups of “00” flour
3 large eggs (look for farm fresh or organic free range as the yolk is amazing for the colour of the pasta)
On a clean kitchen counter, mound the flour, and form a well in the centre. Add the eggs to the centre of the well. Using a fork or your fingers (which is much more satisfying,) start to slowly draw in the flour from the edges, continuing until all the flour and the eggs are combined. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until a smooth, even dough has formed. Wrap in plastic and rest on the counter for an hour to relax the gluten and give the flour the opportunity to fully hydrate.
Using a countertop pasta roller, or the pasta roller attachment for a mixer, begin working the dough from the largest to the finest setting. Be sure to pass the dough through each setting several times as you work your way to the thinnest possible setting—this will help achieve a beautifully silky pasta. Once the pasta is rolled out, use either the tagliatelle attachment or, if unavailable, cut the pasta into thin ¼-inch strips.
Flour the noodles so they don’t stick, and set aside, lightly covered with a tea towel.
For the sauce
1 cup of cleaned and trimmed wild mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely diced
⅓ cup white wine
½ cup of cream
2 tablespoons chive blossoms, chives, or parsley
3 tablespoons pecorino Romano (Parmigiana is also good, but pecorino makes this dish sing)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil—salty like the sea, I always say.
Bring a large sauté pan to medium-high heat, and add a good glug of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and butter. Season lightly with salt and continue to roast the mushrooms, being careful not to dry them out, about 3 minutes. When they’re beautifully roasted, add the garlic and shallots, quickly sauté, and then add the wine. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking until the wine is almost completely gone. Add the cream. Allow the cream to come to a simmer, and then remove the pan from the heat.
Drop the noodles in the salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta and add the noodles to the sauce. Return to medium-high heat, tossing the pasta to coat. Allow the sauce to reduce slightly until the sauce is lightly thickened and sticks to the noodles. Remove from the heat and toss with a light drizzle of olive oil, about a tablespoon’s worth.
Transfer to two serving bowls, sprinkle with the pecorino, and finish with the chive blossoms. Add a crack of black pepper, if desired.
Read more local recipes in Food and Drink.