As I mentioned earlier, it was my husband’s birthday the other week and his parents came over for a visit. They suggested that we eat out, but since I had planned on cooking up a storm anyway, this is what we did. Weeks prior to his birthday, I was already pondering on recipes. Thing is: my husband loves pasta. He can eat it every day, even several times a day, and he will not get sick of it. Since I have gone gluten-free, I feel much better about pasta (well, duh!), but I still don’t think of it as a dish to cook for fancy occasions. But the birthday boy gets what he wants, so pasta it is!
I mentioned my dillema to some friends, and one of them suggested a dish with chanterelle mushrooms. I absolutely loved the idea, as I immediately remembered a dish I had about seven or eight years ago in Stuttgart at a little Italian restaurant near my husband’s work. He got off work late that day, and I was hungry, so I had dinner by myself while I waited. This was pre-celiac diagnosis, when I could just eat wherever and it was through this dish that I discovered this wonderful restaurant, where we ended up going regularly prior to moving away from the area.
I have made this dish – tagliatelle with chanterelle mushrooms and cherry tomatoes – at home every once in a while. I really like it, but I eat it sparsely. For one, chanterelle mushrooms are only in season a very short time and the cherry tomatoes should also be ripe and bursting with flavour. I am weary about eating too many chanterelle mushrooms, because they mostly come from areas in Eastern Europe. It’s hard to buy any from other countries. I used to be able to buy German chanterelle mushrooms, but for a couple of years I have been unable to find them. I’ve tried all sorts of stores and vendors: no luck! The vendor at the little market near our apartment says German chanterelles are sold off entirely for export – to China and the United States. I am not sure what to believe, but many people say wild mushrooms are still contaminated from way back when Chernobyl happened, so I only indulge in them once or twice a year – and still feel weary about doing so, especially when they come from countries such as Russia and Belarus.
Anyway, the combination of cherry tomatoes and chanterelle mushrooms is really wonderful. Their flavors go together really well, it’s a deep experience with an extra tanginess, and when you cook with fresh herbs and use good quality tagliatelle, then you’ve got yourself quite a fancy dish in my humble opinion. Another perk: you can prepare this dish in about twenty minutes and have yourself a delicious, very pretty dinner! If you skip the parmigiano, you can also have a great vegan meal!
500g chanterelle mushrooms (cleaned)
300g cherry tomatoes (washed and cut in half)
three cloves of garlic (chopped)
fresh parsley, basil (to taste)
vegetable broth powder (if you are so inclined)
a dash of dry white wine
250g tagliatelle (my preferred kind are from Le Asolane), cooked and drained
parmiggiano (grated, for decoration – ommit for a vegan version)
Wash the spring onions and cut them into slices (tilted, if you prefer). Heat a pan with a generous amount of olive oil and fry the mushrooms on high heat for about five minutes. Add the spring onions and the garlic. After another minute add the cherry tomatoes, and continue to simmer for about three minutes. Season the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes according to your taste with the remainder of the ingredients. Finally, add the tagliatelle and (without breaking the noodles) fold the mushrooms and the cherry tomatoes under it. Allow to boil for another thirty seconds, then serve immediately. Top each plate with grated parmigiano cheese.