While at the store recently, I heard Elliott squeal with delight and found him drooling over an enormous basket of fresh morel mushrooms. They have long been his favorite fungus and since they have such a short season, when we see them, we know it’s time to cast aside all diets and eat like royalty. This recipe is an ode to Elliott’s time at the Palace Kitchen where every spring, morels would be served in a rich cream sauce over Martha’s fresh pasta. Here, the asparagus, pancetta, and white wine are the perfect complements to the sweet, savory flavor of the morels.
1 lb. fusilli pasta
1/2 lb. fresh morel mushrooms, sliced in half
1/2 bunch of asparagus, cut on the bias
1 whole shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
6 slices pancetta
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unoaked chardonnay wine
Parmesan, or other hard cheese, shaved (we used “Old Goat” cheese)
Add butter to the pan and add the mushrooms in an even, single layer. Let them sit without stirring for about three minutes. Continue sautéing the mushrooms for another 10 minutes, adding in the garlic for the last minute or two.
Add back in the shallots, bacon, and thyme. Deglaze with the white wine and cook until reduced. Add the cream and simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced a bit, toss in the cooked pasta to coat evenly. Top with parmesan and salt and pepper!