It’s autumn in Europe, and that means mushrooms. Mushrooms that you just don’t see the likes of in Australia*. As I wandered around the markets this Saturday I just couldn’t help myself but buy some meaty cèpes and delightful trompettes. I wasn’t precisely sure what I was going to do with them, but I was buying them, gosh darn it!
I’ve discovered that often, when I’ve been afflicted with that kind of insidious homesickness that makes you see everything through a veil of memories of home that are just not quite the same, the best thing I’ve been able to do is abandon anything well known and just find something so different that it forcibly yanks me into the here and now. And so, today, when I found myself suffering quite terribly from this particular affliction, I knew it was time to bust out my mushies.
I wanted a recipe that would showcase the flavour of the mushrooms, and so I decided to go for a very simple pasta with very simple (but tasty) elements.
First I chopped up a little bacon (totally optional) and fried it off with some garlic in some oil.
Then in went my beauties, all de-dirted and chopped up, to cook down nicely with a little bit of dried thyme as well.
Meanwhile I cooked some nice long pasta in salted water (please don’t add oil to your pasta water; it’s just not necessary).
When the pasta was cooked and the mushrooms fully tender, I mixed them all together, grated (if scraping with a knife since I have no grater can be called grating) over some parmesan, and then came the eating**~.
I like eating.
And for the moment it worked. Trying to find hugs as good as home, or a normal muffin or proper sliced bread or a real beach is futile and it just makes me sadder. But there’s no way I can think to myself, “fresh cèpes taste so much better in Australia.”.
*So far as I can tell, there are loads of wonderful Australian mushrooms, but they’re not very well known at all, certainly not to me. One of the things on my list of things to do when I do go home is to try and find some information about the mushrooms of my area there.
**Things you could add to this pasta: cream, dates, raisins, pine nuts, nuts in general, white wine, balsamic vinegar, meats, other vegetables, other types of mushrooms.
~ Things you could not add to this pasta: elephants (‘cos they’re too big), magic (‘cos it’s already magic).