Thursday, November 11, 2010

Warm and Comforting Porcini Mushroom-Onion Soup Pasta with Parmesan Crisp

Voting at MarxFoods will be from Nov. 15-19, 2010.  Thanks!
For the Truffles, Pasta and More Recipe Challenge at MarxFoods. I had to create a dish using pappardelle pasta from Italy, porcini mushrooms, black truffle salt and fennel pollen.  Some of the ingredients were totally new to me so I first tasted each one.  Pappardelle pasta are very broad fettucini or ribbon pasta about 3/4 inch wide.  When cooked al dente, they were very pleasant and satisfying so I though they'd be perfect with a rich broth or a flavorful sauce.  The rehydrated porcini mushrooms had a strong-nutty, complex, almost meaty taste.  Personally, they taste better than shitake and portabella mushrooms.

The black truffle salt had a woodsy, heady flavor and the strong anise aroma of fennel pollen was very enticing. I felt a tiny pinch of both would go a long way.  The ingredients I received could stand on their own with minimal infusion of other flavors so I decided to make a porcini mushroom-onion broth with pasta and blanched vegetable ribbons then added parmesan crisps with fennel pollen as a crispy element to the dish.

For the porcini mushroom-onion broth, I used:
1 large Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups beef stock or consumme
black truffle salt

For the parmesan crisps:
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
fennel pollen

Here's what I did.  First, I soaked dried porcini mushroom slices in warm water then I chopped most of them finely but left some pieces intact for the plating.  Next, I melted butter and sauteed the chopped onions till they caramelized and added the minced and sliced pieces of porcini mushroom.  After 5 minutes, I poured beef stock into the pot and let the porcini-mushroom broth simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes to extract the full-bodied flavors.  Then, I cooled down the broth and strained it through cheesecloth to get the clear essence of the mushroom and onions.  I sprinkled black truffle salt into the porcini mushroom-onion broth and let it boil vigorously just before serving it with the pappardelle pasta and vegetable ribbons.
While waiting for the broth to be ready, I boiled the pasta.  It took 14 minutes for the pappardelle pasta to cook al dente.   Then, I made zucchini and carrot ribbons with my vegetable peeler and blanched the vegetable ribbons in vigorously boiling salted water for 1 minute then I quickly cooled them down in a huge bowl of ice water. 

To make parmesan crisps, I placed small mounds of shredded parmesan cheese on a Silpat baking sheet,topped them with fennel pollen and baked them at 350 F for a few minutes till the cheese were golden-brown and crispy.  I kept checking the oven to make sure the cheese.did not burn  The results were so pretty and flavorful.

Once all the components were ready, I plated the pasta, carrot and zucchini ribbons and the porcini mushroom slices in a bowl and poured in piping hot, porcini mushroom-onion broth.  A sprinkling of  black truffle salt and they were ready to serve. The parmesan crisps were a perfect foil for this warm and comforting pasta dish.  Just right for the cool autumn weather!
Voting at MarxFoods will be from Nov. 15-19, 2010.  Thanks!


Sharlene T. said...

That looks so scrumptuous, I just wanted some, right away! Went to my door and, no, you hadn't shipped me a bowl... 8-( very disappointed... Come visit when you can...

Mimi said...

Sounds like a delicious soup. Good luck in your challenge.

Anonymous said...

This is a very visually appealing soup, I love your presentation with the ribbons! Very flavorful as well, terrific recipe!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely soup. Good luck in the competition. I'm off to vote.....

Holistic Practitioner said...

Perfect Soup for the winter months! This must be really delicious. Gonna Try it! s95

MaryMoh said...

I love this....those beautiful ribbons in clear soup. I can eat this anytime :D