Mushroom Season

It's autumn! Which means mushrooms! Locals who know what they're doing can saunter into the forest and come back with sacks full of mushrooms if they want to, but we have to sit here and hope that someone will be kind enough to throw some our way. So far we've been very lucky! The old guy next door has offered to take Y. with him next time. People are highly secretive about their mushroom hunting spots, so we're quite excited. This particular mushroom is called Maitake (pronounced my-takeh) and seems to be the most common one. The -take part means mushroom, which is why it rhymes with Shiitake.

There are so many fantastic things to do with mushrooms, so it always adds an extra half hour on to the cooking time just trying to work out what to do. This time I ended up making pasta, and thought I'd post the recipe because I'm a big fan of Japanese style pasta. I wasn't quick thinking enough to take my own photo, so here's the photo that came with the recipe, from orangepage.net, a cooking magazine's website.

Maitake and Bacon Japanese Style Pasta

Ingredients (2 people)
160g spaghetti
100g maitake
80g bacon
1/4 bunch mizuna (rocket would be great though)
1/4 onion
1 clove of finely chopped garlic
2/3 tsp yuzu koshou (spicy citrus-y condiment, maybe chilli + lime would be good?)
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp butter
1 tsp soy sauce

1. Cut up the mushroom, mizuna, onion and bacon the way you like them.
2. Get the pasta cooking. Halfway through take out half a cup of the water and reserve. Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet instructions and drain.
3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. When you smell the garlicky smell, add the onion and bacon. When the onion has softened, add the mushroom, stir briefly, then mix in the butter, soy sauce and yuzu koshou.
4. Add the pasta water. Bring to the boil, then add the cooked spaghetti, mixing it all together.
5. Serve topped with mizuna (or rocket).

Yummy yummy yummy!

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