Fresh morel mushrooms are a springtime delicacy. Their earthy perfume marries well with that of spring vegetables, especially asparagus. Other flavorful mushrooms, such as chanterelles, shiitakes or portobellos, can be substituted.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
- 2 pounds asparagus
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large, sweet white onion, such as Vidalia, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound fresh morel mushrooms, quartered
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- Leaves from 5 large fresh thyme springs, coarsely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pound fresh fettuccine
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 Asparagus, White Onion, Morel Mushrooms, Chicken Stock, Thyme, Lemon, Fettuccine, Pine Nuts, Parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.
- 2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Using a large skimmer, transfer the asparagus to a colander, reserving the cooking water. Run cold water over the asparagus to preserve its bright green color and to stop the cooking. Drain the asparagus and set aside.
- 3 In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the 1/3 cup olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft and just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
- 4 Add the garlic, morels and asparagus, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme and lemon juice and mix well.
- 5 Meanwhile, return the reserved asparagus-cooking water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 3 minutes. Drain well and add to the fry pan.
- 6 Add the pine nuts and parsley and toss briefly to blend all the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings, and add a drizzle of olive oil.
- 7 Transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl and sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the cheese over the top. Pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serve immediately.