Memorial Day means fresh ingredients. Finally. After a long winter and slow-moving spring, it’s such a joy to be able to walk to the farmer’s market and fill my canvas bag with locally grown ingredients. Somehow food just seems to taste better that way.
To clarify, I’m not arguing that produce from the grocery store isn’t fresh, I’m just saying there’s something special about buying your produce from a the person who picked it.
In this instance I’m referring to the wild mushrooms I bought at the Green City Market, two morels and a few bunches of oysters to be exact. And while I love buying local, it can sometimes come with a hefty price tag, as in $5 for two morels.
Such valuable loot deserves to be showcased and celebrated, not overpowered by strong ingredients. And what better way to showcase my prized morels than to pair them with fresh pasta, one of my all-time favorite foods and a true labor of love (here’s the video tutorial and recipe for fresh pasta).
In this instance I made a very light sauce by sauteing shallots, garlic and sliced wild mushrooms (note: don’t mince the mushrooms; you’ll want to leave some texture intact) in butter. I then added frozen sweet peas (yes, I said frozen and I’m fine with that) for a bit of sweetness and relied on lemon zest, lemon juice and fresh parsley to balance out the flavors.
Wow, was it good! The smell alone was enough to have me salivating, but the taste was out of this world. The delicate pasta, subtle lemon-butter sauce, and the sweetness of the shallots and peas synchronistically combined to enhance the earthiness of the mushrooms, the star ingredient.
And best of all it took less than ten minutes to make the sauce and cook the pasta. Talk about a winner in all categories!