Papparadelle with Mushroom Ragu, a delightful pasta dish for the fungi lovers out there. Flavored with Marsala wine and fresh thyme, it has a wonderful, earthy flavor.
BACON AND WILD MUSHROOM PASTA
adapted by me from several recipes
2 pounds of mushrooms (can be combination of dried porcini, shitake, crimini,button and portobello)
1 c. hot chicken broth
5 strips of lean bacon
2 shallots, finely diced
½ cup marsala wine
1/2 tsp. thyme
½ stick butter
1/2 c. whipping cream - optional
8-16 oz. papparadelle or other pasta
Soak any dried mushrooms in 1/4 cup hot broth until soft. Drain, reserving liquid. Cut mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
Cook bacon, discarding all but 3 teaspoons fat. Remove bacon, dice and set aside.
In frying pan with reserved bacon fat, add shallot sauté 5 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are soft and brown. Add marsala and cook until it is mostly evaporated. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, if any, avoiding any sediment at the bottom. Add remaining broth and thyme. Simmer 10 minutes or until reduced by 1/2. Add butter, 1 T at a time, and then cream (if using) and simmer over very low heat until warm. Toss with pasta and reserved bacon. Add freshly grated parmesiana-reggiano, if desired.
For dessert, I am sharing this fabulous recipe for Bailey's Cream Pots. I made this last year for St. Patrick's Day and I had so much fun making the caramel squiggles. They were so delicious on their own that I had a hard time saving enough to decorate the cream pots!
Bailey’s Cream Pots with Caramel Squiggles
Recipe by Kevin Dundon from the book Full On Irish
1-1/3 cups cream
4-5 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
¼ cup freshly brewed espresso, cooled (1 shot)
9-oz carton mascarpone cheese
Whip the cream in a bowl until soft peaks have formed. Place the Baileys Irish cream in a bowl with the espresso, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. Beat until well combined, then fold n the cream. Divide between 4 scant 1 cup ramekins or cups and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight, if convenient.
To serve, arrange the Baileys cream pots on serving plates and decorate with chocolate curls and spun-sugar squiggles (recipe follows).
½ cup caster or baking sugar
Place the caster sugar in a heavy-based pan over a low heat and heat gently to dissolve. Bring to a boil and boil fast until the resulting syrup begins to turn pale brown, gently swirling the pan to ensure even cooking. When the caramel is rich, golden brown, dip the base of the pan into a sink of cool water to prevent further cooking.
Using a clean, small metal spoon, drizzle the caramel onto a Silpat or parchment paper into interesting shapes and allow to harden.