By Linda Viertel —
Before everyone dives into squash recipes, apple pie baking and root vegetable roasts, take time to savor freshly farmed or foraged mushrooms in the fall, and you will relish a taste blast of earthy heaven. An easy sauté with cream or even a few San Marzano tomatoes and a dollop of tomato paste, together with a mélange of diced garlic, shallot, onion or leeks if you wish, will create a sauce redolent of the woods — a preparation to enliven pasta, polenta or even rice.
Both the TaSH (Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow’s Farmers Market) and the Irvington Farmers Market have mushroom growers on hand (Hodgins Harvest at TaSH and Madura in Irvington) as well as fresh pasta makers (Trotta at TaSH and Bambino Ravioli in Irvington) and a plethora of organic and biodynamic growers who will provide the sweetest garlic, leeks, shallots and onions you could imagine.
And any pasta meal is best complemented by a fresh salad. Fall frisée is at its height right now and shows off its toothsome taste with fried bacon lardons and a mustard vinaigrette. A perfect accompaniment to your mushroom pasta. (Check TaSH’s Thousand Leaf Gardens for the enormous, super fresh and crunchy frisée heads available this fall.)
Here is an amazingly simple recipe, with only a few ingredients and only a few steps, but a deeply rewarding result. Most of the ingredients can be purchased at our local farmers markets, and if you can, find some superior heavy cream. But supermarket cream will do in a pinch.
Farmers Market Fall Pasta
- 1 pound fresh pasta — long pasta like pappardelle or fettuccini works well for this dish
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 smallish onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 8 ounces of mushrooms of any or all types: Remove the stems. Mince them, and roughly slice or section the mushroom tops.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme and minced mushroom stems all at once. This is unusual, but it will work. Cook on medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes until softened, stirring regularly.
- Meanwhile, place a large pot of generously salted water onto boil. Add a good drizzle of olive oil, which will keep the pasta from sticking to itself.
- Add mushroom tops and cream to your onion/garlic/mushroom stem mixture and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking an additional 4-5 minutes. The cream will cook down quite a bit.
- Cook pasta. With fresh pasta, this will happen really quickly — 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta.
- Add cheese and drained pasta to mushroom-cream mixture. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Garnish with additional cheese if desired.
If You Go:
TaSH (Farmers market in Tarrytown)
Patriots Park/Route 9
Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Irvington Farmers Market
101 Main Street
Sunday: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.