Varieties of Lactarius are to be found in the Salentine macchia which are locally highly prized but appear in Italian fungi magazines as ‘toxic’ or ‘emetic’. As we eat them every evening in autumn, I can only say: the experts are sometimes mistaken. Nevertheless they must be cooked, either on live wood braise or in an earthenware pot, and not in a metal pan. Nor should they be set on a metal grill. I use a resilient little Tuscan pot for them, and for other small late-autumn fungi — Tricholoma, Ramaria and Cortinarius species.
The largest specimens are set for a few minutes on live braise, then skilfully turned over and subsequently snatched from the fire; they will have shrunk a little. Dusting off the ash, they are turned about in a sauce (salsa endiavolades) already prepared in the mortar, consisting of
The smaller specimens, cooked in earthenware, make an excellent sauce for pasta (see Fettuccine colla salsa difunghi). The system is of the simplest. Pour some olive oil into the little pot, add the fungi sliced,