Challenge: Black Trumpet Mushrooms

As you may recall, I had been delinquent in visiting my farmers markets and developing new skills by challenging myself to cook something I've never tried. I blame winter. Crawling out of a warm bed to walk around a cold outdoor farmers market isn't always on the top of my list. But if the farmers can wake up, stock the truck and drive into the city, surely I can roll out of my apartment building.

This week, I took the challenge of "The Mushroom Lady" at the Arlington Farmers Market. She sold me her seasonal black trumpet mushrooms which looked gorgeous and she swore they taste like earthy butter. When I mentioned pasta, she directed me to the fresh pasta vendor for some fresh tagliatelle. (She also directed me to the fish vendor for rockfish, but that will have to be another day as life and work got in the way.)

One of my favorite Twitter foodie pals suggested that I cook the fresh pasta risotto style and I'm so glad I discovered this method. The pasta was so much more flavorful than just boiling in water.

ROOKIE TIP: The mushrooms, well, they were perfect, but I was not. I could have given them a little more of a pat down, so I ended up with some grit, but I learned and next time will do better. One tip I learned also was to not wash them with water. Apparently, the way to go is dusting them with your hands or a damp towel.

Black Trumpet Mushrooms & Parmesan Tagliatelle Cooked Risotto Style
I made the portion just for me for dinner, so consider that if you need to make for a full table of guests.

- handful of cleaned black trumpet mushrooms
- two handfuls of fresh pasta (any kind would work, but I used a wide flat noodle called tagliatelle.)
- 1 clove diced garlic
- 1 cup vegetable broth (heated)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
- olive oil

1. In a heated sauce pan, drizzle olive oil and cook garlic until they start browning but don't burn.
2. Add pasta and coat with the olive oil.
3. Pour in half cup of wine. Cook for 2 minutes constantly stirring.
4. Every two minutes, add 1/4 cup of vegetable broth to the pasta. Keep stirring.
5. Add mushrooms and cheese. Stir. Continue stirring until liquid is absorbed and pasta is ready to serve.


The final product, a hearty winter pasta using fresh, seasonal black trumpet mushrooms.

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