Little time and a big hunger – Malloredus pasta with wild mushroom ragù
Poco tempo e tanta fame – Malloredus con sugo ai funghi di bosco
When you have no time for cooking, this would be a dish to consider…of course if you have some wild mushrooms handy, even better. I had those beautiful yellow chanterelles and oyster mushrooms in my refrigerator with so many ideas on what to make with them, the only problem was the time. Today I didn’t have any for cooking elaborated dish, so I decided to make pasta, but not regular pasta, Malloredus. Malloredus are also called Sardinian gnocchi and are the most traditional pasta in Sardinia; its origin is traced back to Antiquity. You can make them by hand, and again if you have no time like me today, you can always have some handy at home (I always keep a bag in case I have some cravings for them)… and if you have an Italian grocery store close by, I’m sure you’ll find Malloredus. They are cute, and look like little worms or shells (yes a little worm can be cute). The particularity of Malloredus is that the remain crunchy, much more al dente that other pasta (and for me the more al dente, the better).
I usually use pancetta in the ragù, if you want to keep vegetarian, just don’t add it. Also, you need to use either canned Italian plum tomatoes, San Marziano fresh tomatoes, or really sweet organic plum and ripe tomatoes, or even heirloom otherwise your ragù might be too acid.
Fall is here, and fall is all about wild mushrooms. In my family, it is a BIG deal. Every year at this time, my dad goes mushroom picking, mainly porcini, but other kinds as well. Last year I was there around this time, and every morning, he would get up at 5 am, come back at 11 am with kilos of porcini. In about 3 weeks, he brought home about 70 kg of porcini (140 lb) can you imagine? My mom and I spent days cleaning them, and storing them (preserves, frozen, drying, etc…) at one point, I could not stand them any longer. We were just wondering between ourselves when he would stop bringing them home. I had porcini nightmares. Needless to say my parents house is filled with porcini. My dad used to go find truffles too, and had a dog trained for that purpose, now the dog ran away, so no more truffles! He grew up in Italy doing that, so he kept his hobbies all his life.
I remember one year, I was living in Boston and my parents came to visit us…it was their first trip to America. We took them to the New England countryside, and we ended up in Maine, there were beautiful mansions close by and a nice green field, so my dad had his mushroom radar out, and obviously saw some eatable mushrooms in between the grass, he was so excited. Happily, he started picking those mushroom to make a frittata in the evening. All of the sudden, we heard a voice coming from behind telling him “Hey dude, you won’t get high with those!”, seems like those guys thought we were looking for the hallucinogen ones. We were speechless (my parents didn’t speak English so they could care less), but I didn’t know what to respond since I was not expecting that, so we just nodded and smiled. Macche’ high!! io mi mangio la frittata stasera!
In France and Italy, it’s a very common thing to go mushroom picking, I used to go too but not getting up at 5 am. There are so many wonderful wild mushrooms (don’t know right names in English) and if you have doubts about them being comestible, (some of them can be mistaken for poisonous ones like the very well known Amanite Phalloide), you can always go to the pharmacy to have them checked. Pharmacies do that.
Ingredients for 4
- 300 g Malloredus pasta
- 1 lb mixed wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, girolles, porcini, etc…
- 2 cups Italian plum tomatoes, or 4 heirloom tomatoes, or San Marziano (put through a food processor)
- 3 tbs pancetta, chopped (optional)
- 2 tbs parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs olive oil
Was mushrooms thoroughly, pat dry and cut in pieces. Sauté them in olive oil. When browned remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add pancetta, stir for a little while, then add garlic and parsley. Stir well to get the flavors out but make sure not to burn the garlic. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook until the sauce reduces for about 20 minutes or more. Add mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes. (If using dried porcini, you can use the water and add it to the tomato sauce and let it cook).
Cook Malloredus like regular pasta until desired consistency. Top with tomato ragu and sprinkle with parmigiano and a little of olive oil.
This entry was posted by silvia on October 6, 2009 at 8:23 am, and is filed under Pasta. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
- Roasted celeriac with mung beans forestière fricassée and tarragon oil
- Encore vegan – Jeanette of wild mushrooms, cauliflower and garlic-herb paste
- Einkorn pasta with oyster king mushrooms and carrot pesto
- Yams and zucchini mille feuilles, sauté tofu steak, wild mushrooms and tomato fondue
- Buckwheat pasta with roasted beets and beet leaves pesto
- No flour pizza – Cauliflower crust pizza with mushrooms, fontina, cherry tomatoes and basil
- Edamame and mung bean fettucine with cabbage, peas and shrimps
- Crumble of artichoke, yams and carrot purée, sauté kale and wild mushrooms
- Black bean spaghetti with Brussels sprouts, mint and lemon pesto
- Taste from the ocean – Spirulina and farro-buckwheat tagliatelle with octopus stew
As an italian is great to see such a typical pasta dish with a great look on a foreign blog.
They really look so appetizing I’d like to jump into the monitor.
I was going to say the pasta looks like caterpillars. Mushrooms are my favorite. I would love to learn how to hunt for them on my own. Great dish and story!
@Alessandro Guerani La cucina italiana e’ molto apprezzata negli Stati Uniti, e soprattutto in California ci sono tanti prodotti italiani in confronto ad altri stati (certo non tutti come in Italia, la panna non la vendono per esempio) ma comunque si trovano prodotti cosi tradizionali. Se mi viene voglia di una fetta di panforte, lo posso trovare )
I’m just wondering if people who do that in the US, picking mushrooms (other than the crazy ones), you need a certain climate, w/ rain and humidity and sun.
I love that shaped pasta! It’s really cute!
My mother and her husband love to go wild mushroom picking. They have given me many lobster mushrooms. I love them!
I’m amazed at the marvelous, original, mouthwatering recipes you come up with. You seem to just churn them out with the ease of the gods.
Your recipes are sophisticated, yet incredibly easy to follow.
I’d love to feature some of your recipes on my blog, which is part of a local Geneva, Switzerland, online newspaper called GenevaLunch. I take it you live in France?
In any case, keep up the good work! You amaze me.
I’ve never gone mushroom picking, but have always wanted to! I’ll have to ask the local pharmacy if they have the mycological skills to identify the bad ‘shrooms from the good ones. I love the sauce recipe for this — I may have to rely on the grocery store for our wild mushrooms, but your recipes are always a winner!
Thanks Jonell, my email doesn’t seem to be functioning that well, that’s why I have to respond through the post. Thanks so much for your comment, it makes me really happy that you like the recipes and I was not expecting such a encouraging message. I do not live in France, but live there most of my life. I am currently living in San Francisco. Certainly, you can use the recipes on your site. Would you mind referring to Citron et Vanille?
I need to figure out why I cannot send any emails now. Merci beaucoup, ca m’a fait très plaisir d’avoir recu un message aussi gentil.
@wasabi prime Oh really, depending where you live, you could get interesting wild mushrooms. I think you need the right combination of sun and rain so that they grow. My father goes in the woods, I think that’s where porcini grow. If you have some farmer’s markets and specialty stores, sometimes you can find really good ones. Thanks so much!
–Foraging for wild mushrooms would be fun….not so sure about 5am however. This is the kind of comforting dish that takes us all back to the table with family.
Foraging for wild mushrooms would be fun, but not that easy where I live. Do you think I could use dried mushrooms?