If you’re new to this blog, you may not know that I’m a mushroom fanatic. Anything with mushrooms, I’ll order. I think it’s because I grew up knowing that May Morels, as my Dad calls them, are pure gold.
I remember strings of them hanging in my Grandfather’s window to dry (OK the food safety police would probably be all over that nowadays, but he was extremely healthy. Of course, he attributed that to a shot of whiskey every night before bed.)
When I was growing up there was a creek behind the field behind our house, about a mile back. We loved to play back there (which is also probably not allowed nowadays, a creek without adult supervision?) We’d end up super muddy. One day my Mom came back there with us, she must have wanted exercise. I was screwing around with my three younger sisters and tripped. On the ground I noticed something sticking out of the ground. It looked kind of like the dried things on the strings on my Grandpa’s windowsill, only it was much, much bigger and more puffy.
“Mom!” I yelled. “What IS this?” She came over and said “I think those are mushrooms! The kind you can eat!” She knew my Dad would be thrilled. We looked around and there were more! Lots of them! We didn’t have any bags with us so she ordered us to remove our socks. We filled our socks to the brim (that’s eight socks! Granted, they were little girls’ socks, but still . . . )
When my Dad came home we showed them to him, and he confirmed that they were indeed morels, definitely edible. My Mom cut them in half, soaked them in water to remove the bugs and dirt (I don’t remember if it was a few hours or overnight), and then my Dad sauteed them in butter. Oh man, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
Unfortunately, the mushroom spot fell victim to development. It is now a well-manicured lawn. And morel spots are super secret in these parts; people who know where they are could tell you where to find them, but then they’d have to kill you. While you can find them for sale on the side of the road, they are uber expensive.
So as it’s not May, and as I have no hookups for any sort of fresh mushrooms (shiitake or otherwise, as the recipe calls for), I had to resort to making do with this:
Yes, that’s right my friends, the dried mushrooms that I had used with the risotto. It says right on the box easy to use, eh? So I decided to experiment.
FOR PRINTABLE VERSION CLICK HERE: Shiitake Mushroom Pasta
3 Tbs butter
2 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped (I substituted 2 C of the dried mushrooms)
1 cup onion, minced (I just used a whole medium onion)
1 tsp salt
7 tbs broth (I used vegetable broth; it also said you can use sherry)
2 Tbs flour
1 large clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup broth (can also use water, but I used the same vegetable broth)
1 cup sour cream (I used “light” sour cream)
1. Melt butter in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and salt. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Here’s where I began to differ. A few minutes in, I realized that the dried mushrooms had soaked up all the butter! Oops. And they were looking like they might scorch. So I added the 7 T of broth and let it finish cooking.
2. Stir in the broth, turn heat to low and slowly sprinkle in the flour, stirring until the flour is mixed in.
By the time the 10 minutes were up, the broth had been soaked up, so I added another 7 T. By the time I added the flour it was all soaked up again, so I kept drizzling more broth as I incorporated the flour so it wouldn’t end up a gummy mess.
3. Add the broth, sour cream, and stir until it’s all incorporated and heated through.
At this point I was thinking wow, those mushrooms are going to be super flavorful! Chock full of butter and vegetable broth. I added some fresh cracked pepper.
4. Serve over pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
I served it over whole wheat egg noodles. And please don’t shoot me, but I forgot to pick up Parmesan cheese when I was at the store so I had to use the emergency “green can” that DH keeps on hand. Whenever I make something vegetarian or what he thinks is bland he usually fixes it by dumping half a can of “cheese” on it and adding canned chicken.
The verdict: YUM! So creamy, FLAVORFUL. The mushrooms were a bit on the chewy side (duh, they were only partially rehydrated), but I kind of liked it that way.
Nutrition Facts (Note: This is ONLY for the mushroom sauce, NOT the noodles, so you’ll need to add that in)
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (7.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (75%) 187.27
% Daily Value
Total Fat 21.3g 33%
Saturated Fat 13.12g 66%
Cholesterol 48.2mg 16%
Sodium 827.68mg 34%
Potassium 347.16mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 11.11g 4%
Fiber 1.24g 5%
Protein 5.49g 11%