Mushroom Caramelle

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

    as a starter

Appears in

Ingredients

  • approx. 350 g (12 oz) mixed mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped
  • 6 dried porcini slices, soaked and chopped – optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pasta dough made from 200 g (7 oz) flour

Method

To make the filling, gently cook the mushrooms, including the porcini if using them, in the oil, and then cook on a high heat until most of their liquid has evaporated. Season lightly, and allow to cool before using.

Roll out the dough thinly, and with a fluted cutter, cut into rectangles.

Spoon a little filling in the centre of each rectangle, moisten one short edge of the pasta, and roll up the small parcel, pressing the wet edge along its length to seal.

Twist and pinch the two ends so that you have something which resembles a boiled sweet. If you cook these as soon as they are made they will take 3 to 4 minutes only, but nearer to 10 minutes if you allow the pasta to dry out. Toss in oil or butter before serving.

The best way to cook pumpkin is first to bake it in large chunks in the oven until tender. This dries it out a little and concentrates the flavour. I use the same method for the parsnips with which I make the parsnip and walnut pasta below. This was inspired by a visit to Emilia Romagna, where our friends the Lancellottis make a marvellous tortelloni alla zucca (pumpkin). I discussed the parsnip version with Angelo Lancellotti, and he thought it would work. It does.

One of the reasons that I welcome the first cold snap of the autumn is that pasta-making is much easier in a cooler, drier atmosphere. With luck and perseverance, I can roll out the dough to number 6 on my pasta machine, which is very thin and perfect for stuffed pasta. The lower notch makes for a rather stodgy ravioli with very thick edges. Handrolling, of course, produces even better pasta.
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