Photo by Photo: Sean Sullivan
Provenance of Dish
My friend Alfredo friend introduced me to his “porcini patch” here in the woods of East Hampton, NY. The first time we went I got a satisfying-for-a-novice eight (!) specimens. Subsequent trips have not been as productive. His secret spot seems not so secret; usually there is evidence of recent harvesting. Anyway, in this pasta the pumpkin creates an unctuous backdrop that lets the mushroom flavor shine. It’s on my blog SpectacularlyDelicious.com.
1 large onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 lb. wild boletus (porcini) mushroom caps, sliced
8 cups fresh pumpkin, cut into small 1/2″ cubes (use a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin if you can get it)
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme and/or marjoram
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
1 lb. pappardelle pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
1. In a large, heavy pot saute the chopped onions in 1 Tablespoon olive oil for 5 minutes on low heat until translucent.
2. After the onions have softened add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, pumpkin cubes and sliced wild mushrooms. Saute on medium heat, stirring gently, for 10 minutes.
3. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, a grating of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few good grinds of black pepper. It should surround, but not cover, the vegetables. Simmer with the lid ajar for 15 – 20 minutes on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until the pumpkin cubes are soft and the sauce has thickened.
4. Stir in butter. Stir in chopped herbs.
5. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with sauce in the pot. Stir in cheese, sprinkle with a few more herb leaves. Serve hot.