Once again, I enjoyed a meal featuring homemade pasta and marvelous, fresh oyster mushrooms. I was feeling a bit bereft during August because my source for top-notch mushrooms was on vacation. Elizabeth Almeida, the entrepreneur and founder of Fat Moon Farm in Westford, MA, had explained to me that oyster mushrooms like it cool, so they don’t do well during our hot Augusts, which is why she and her family take vacation then. They take a hiatus in the mushroom growing activities, so I had to wait another month to repeat the success I had in June, using my newly-discovered technique for sautéeing them first in a broth with butter, before adding them to pasta.
Yesterday I went to the farm to pick up two 1-lb. bags of perfect mushrooms they prepared for me. I was very eager to make my pasta, and then to create a new recipe that would highlight the main ingredients. I saved the second package to make a risotto in a few nights hence.
We had a new chunk of pancetta in the refrigerator, so I sliced some of that, chopped the pieces coarsely, and proceeded with the mushroom preparation. Here, again, is the simple recipe for that process:
A pound of oyster mushrooms is a lot of mushrooms, so after tearing them into smaller pieces, I took out a large sautéuse, added a pint of vegetable stock plus 3 Tbs. of sweet butter, brought it to a boil, and cooked it on high heat until much of the liquid was gone. I took out a few tablespoons of the buttery liquid to add to the sauce, before all the moisture evaporated from the pan. Next, I continued to sauté the mushrooms — which now were glistening with butter in the pan — until they were lights browned and tasty.
In the meantime I had sautéed the pancetta with a little olive oil until it was crispy, and I set it aside to reheat and add to the top of the pasta. I made a small side dish with zucchini and corn off-the-cob from end-of-the-season Harper’s Farm Butter and Sugar corn. As you know, fresh pasta cooks in just a few minutes, so I added the fettuccine to the sautéeing mushrooms, and cooked them together for a few minutes. An open bottle of a Rhône-style white wine from Sans Liege completed the table. We each had a full serving and ate it all.