Thursday, September 17, 2009

Funghi Selvaggi con Pane - "Wild Mushrooms with Bread"

This is one of my favorite types of appetizers. It goes very well with a bottle of good red wine. It is a very classic recipe that symbolizes the foraging of wild mushrooms. For this recipe I chose Porcini, Maiatake, Chanterelles & Chicken of the Woods mushrooms. You can use any combination of mushrooms you would like though.

TT = to taste

1) 1/4# Porcini Mushrooms
2) 1/4# Chanterelle Mushrooms
3) 1/4# Maiatake Mushrooms
4) 1/4# Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms
5) 4 Garlic Cloves
6) 3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for garnish
7) 5 sprigs Fresh Thyme, leaves only
8) 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, leaves only
9) 5 Fresh Sage leaves chopped
10) TT Sea Salt
11) TT freshly ground Black Pepper
12) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated for garnish
13) 1/2 Sourdough Baugette baked in 350F oven for 5-8 minutes, 1/2 inch sliced on a bias
14) 1 cup Marsala wine
15) 1/2 cup red wine - Pinot Noir

1) heat olive oil over med heat in large sauce pan or straight sided saute pan
2) add garlic and cook for a few minutes until starting to brown
3) Add Porcini mushrooms and cook for 1 minute
4) add chicken of the woods mushrooms and cook for another minute
5) Add Maiatake mushrooms and cook for another minute
6) add chanterelles andcook for a minute
7) add fresh herbs
8) season with salt and pepper
9) add the wine and cook until most of liquid has reduced
10) taste for seasoning and that the mushrooms have cooked enough
11) transfer mushrooms to serving bowl
12) Scatter bread slices around
13) garnish with some fresh thyme leaves and grated parmigiano reggiano over the mushrooms, about 1-2T of the cheese
14) Drizzle bread and mushrooms with some good extra virgin olive oil
15) serve immediately

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This is my version of the classic Roman pasta. It takes a slight twist on the presentation of the dish to give it a more dramatic, fun & playful way of eating it. As I said before, this is very classic which means NO CREAM. It is just pasta, cured pork, eggs & cheese. Just one bite of the dish and you'll realize why spaghetti alla carbonara has stood the test of time.

TT = to taste

Serves 6-8

1) 1# Spaghetti
2) 8 oz Guanciale or Pancetta 1/3 inch dice
3) 10 Sprigs of fresh thyme plus extra for garnish, pulled from the stem
4) 6-8 Eggs, separated
5) TT sea salt
6) 8T Fresh Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano plus extra for garnish
7) TT Fresh Ground Black Pepper
8) Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling


1) Bring 6 quarts water, and 2T sea salt to boil
2) Add guanciale to large sauté pan over med-low heat
3) Cook until guanciale is nice and crispy & fat has rendered, around 10 min
4) Add the thyme and stir together
5) Turn off the heat
6) When water is boiling drop pasta in batches
7) Cook pasta until al dente, 3 minutes
8) Transfer cooked pasta to sauté pan with the guanciale and thyme
9) Add the whites to the hot pasta making sure the pan is off the heat
10) Toss together
11) Stir in cheese
12) Season with salt & pepper
13) Transfer pasta to individual plates or bowls
14) Garnish with some more cheese, a little more thyme, 1 egg yolk per plate & fresh ground black pepper on top of the yolk
15) Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
16) Serve immediately