PAPPARDELLE WITH FRESH PORCINI

PORCINI MADE THEIR RARE APPEARANCE AT THE HOLLYWOOD FARMER’S MARKET LAST SUNDAY.  EVEN AT $38 A POUND, I COULDN’T RESIST THEM.  WHEN I THINK UMAMI, I THINK PORCINI.  THEIR MEATY TEXTURE HOLDS UP TO BRAISING AS WELL AS GRILLING.  THEY ARE IDEALLY PAIRED WITH RISOTTO OR, IN THIS CASE, PAPPARDELLE OR EGG NOODLE PASTA.  THE SEASONING IS SIMPLE — GARLIC, SHALLOTS, A SPRIG OF THYME.  WHITE WINE AND STOCK ENHANCE THEIR EARTHINESS AND GIVE YOU ENOUGH LIQUID TO MOISTEN THE PASTA.  A BUYING TIP:  DON’T BE SEDUCED BY THOSE BEAUTIFUL GREENISH CAPS.  LOOK FOR MUSHROOM WITH THICK STEMS.  THEY HOLD UP BETTER TO COOKING AND IF YOU JUST WANT STEMS, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE A DEAL WITH YOUR MUSHROOM SELLER.
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