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I'm happiest when the food I make becomes a backdrop to a lively conversation. When I'm not cooking, I'm traveling or dreaming about travel. Come sit with me, and enjoy! Read more here.

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« torta di mele: dessert so good you'll want it for breakfast | Main | italian roasted bell pepper salad: simple ingredients yield big flavor »

morel, asparagus, and leek pasta

I'm lucky enough to have a friend who hunts for mushrooms but doesn't eat them. Gretta enjoys the thrill of the hunt. So, for the second year in a row, she has brought me part of her bounty: a tupperware full of beautiful blondish brown morels.

This recipe, roughly inspired by a Suzanne Goin dish, highlights the flavors of the morels beautifully. They're sauteed in butter, thyme, and salt and pepper and then joined with blanched asparagus and leek. The dish is pure mushroomy goodness with the crunch and zing of asparagus.

Morel, Asparagus, and Leek Pasta

1 pound pappardelle
2 medium leeks, trimmed of the green part and quartered lengthwise
2 cups (or more!) or fresh morel mushrooms, halved if large
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1/4 lemon
4 - 5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
salt and pepper

Blanch the asparagus and leeks in heavily salted water for five minutes each.

Cook the pasta as directed on the package in heavily salted water. Drain and then toss with lemon juice, olive oil, parsely, and garlic.

Heat a non-stick pan for two minutes. Add 3 - 4 tablespoons of butter. When it foams, add morels. Cook for another 3 - 4 minutes on high heat. Turn down the heat and add thyme, salt, and pepper.

Cook for another 3 - 4 minutes until the mushrooms are slightly crispy on the outside. Add another tablespoon of butter and the blanched asparagus and leek. Simmer for another two minutes until all the vegetables are hot and coated with butter.

Pour over pasta and serve.

Reader Comments (11)

And we'd only serve it to Jacques if he brought a good wine with him. :)

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Ward

So hard to find fresh morel, so I always use the dried one. I am sure they taste better when they are fresh. You are so lucky Angela.
Look delicious as always.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelra

Paul: Ha! Yeah, we'd totally shut the door in his face if he showed up with a bad bottle of wine. He'd be outta here. Poof. A gonner. Jacques who??

Elra: Thanks! I know the fresh morels are impossible to find unless you have a great source or a really good mushroom-hunting friend! (Thank you, Gretta!) :)

May 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterAngela

Oh no. The guests wouldn't get this. Take the morels you can get and keep em for yourself. This sounds divine.

3 of my favorite foods mixed together with pasta..? I look forward to trying this one..thanks for sharing. Figtreeapps

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFigtreeapps

This is exquisite Angela; I am crazy about morels (is your friend crazy for hunting but not eating them???! :)

I think Jacques would be thrilled.

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCamilla

This looks yummy - as the rest of your posts! I left a lovely blog award on my blog for you!

May 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

Thanks for the blog award, Julie!

May 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterAngela

Literally delicious Angela. Lucky Paul, he gets to shut the guests out so he can eat their portions!


May 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchefectomy

Looks good! I have been enjoying the asparagus, morol mushroom and leek combo a lot recently.

May 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

We are lucky to get lots of fresh wild mushrooms here in the Pacific NW and I am always looking for good recipes to highlight them. This looks delicious!

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

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