I love mushrooms. They’re super versatile and they give you an extra dose of satisfaction when they decide to grow in your garden. This morning I have found bunches of honey fungus. I’m not a mushroom picking specialist, but I’m used to this specific type. It’s quite popular in this area. The frost of last night made the colors of leaves and grass brighter. It was so nice picking them, frozen and perfect in my hands, with their characteristic golden color.
Nice, right? Well, be sure to cook them and never eat them raw, because they’re poisonous. These little guys are a delicacy, they can compete with porcino mushrooms, but they contain a toxin that may give you a very bad night. You only need to cook them thoroughly, then you’re fine. I promise!
To bring out their nutty flavor in the best way, I have decided to prepare a first dish of tagliatelle, mushrooms and Taleggio cheese fondue. Of course, if you can’t find honey fungus, feel free to use morels, porcini mushrooms or any kind of wild mushroom you like. The same freedom can be used in the choice of the cheese for the fondue. Parmesan cheese (real Parmesan, please!) is perfect, or you can use Gorgonzola cheese for a stronger flavor, but use more milk in this case. So, get ready for a foodgasm.
Tagliatelle with Honey Fungus and Taleggio Fondue (for four persons)
400 gr. tagliatelle
400 gr. honey fungus or other kinds of wild mushrooms
50 gr. unsalted butter
a sprig of fresh parsley, finely minced
1 clove of garlic
black pepper (don’t be cheap with it)
150 gr. Taleggio cheese
125 ml. whole milk
125 ml. cream
50 gr. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (yes, more cheese)
extra virgin olive oil
LET’S DO IT!
Clean the mushrooms from dirt and grass. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the clove of garlic and the minced parsley. Let it cook gently for about two minutes, then add the mushrooms. Stir and add a pinch of sea salt and a lavish pinch of black pepper. The honey fungus will release their liquid, but I suggest adding some water. Let them gently simmer for about fifty minutes, or until tender.
Now it’s time to take care of the cheese fondue. Heat up milk and cream, but don’t let them boil. When the mixture is hot, add the Taleggio cheese that you have previously cut into small pieces. Now stir and be patient – your fondue needs time and a soft touch. It should simmer, but never boil.
Boil the water for the pasta in a big pot. When the water is boiling, add a pinch of salt, then pour the tagliatelle in. Since it’s fresh pasta, it doesn’t need to boil too long. In fact, if you do, your dish will turn into a complete disaster! So, do not go over the time indicated, that should be six minutes. When the pasta is ready, drain it and keep a glass of the cooking water. Cook the tagliatelle with the mushrooms and the grated Parmesan cheese until creamy. If you lack some liquid, use the cooking water you have saved.
Time to serve! Pour some of the fondue at the bottom of your plate, than make a nest of tagliatelle and lightly place it on top of the fondue. A sprinkle of parsley and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil will turn this dish into a special moment to enjoy with your loved ones.