In the vastness of the culinary world of mushrooms that are edible, there’s only one that can be deemed as king – Porcini. Those mushrooms affectionately called porcini, that means piglets are the ruling class of mushrooms according to Italians. Porcini have a meat-like texture and have a nutty and earthy flavor. Are they specific to the Italian regions? Not quite. They can be found all over the world and are utilized in a variety of forms but using them as a dried mushroom is a common practice in Italy. While finding or trying to buy porcini mushrooms is easier in supermarkets, gathering wild porcini is still the preferred way of getting them. However, not everyone is trained in picking mushrooms from the wild. Fresh porcini mushroom is usually grilled or served with olive oil and parsley. Because of the richness of the mushroom, it is even considered as a poor man’s steak. They are even better than a grilled portobello. You can buy Italian porcini mushroom pasta’s online.
Why are Porcini Mushrooms so Popular?
The reason most mushrooms aren’t as popular as the porcini mushrooms are because porcini is grown in many different parts across the world, and thus, is common to many culinary traditions. They also have a distinct, powerful umami flavor, and it adds a sense of flavor and texture to the food. After drying these mushrooms, they can be stored away for ages and have become a pantry essential in most parts of the world.
A fun fact – porcini mushrooms may grow a large-cap up to 12 inches in diameter and may also have a sticky exterior. They can be found on the ground in forests near the trees of pine, chestnut, hemlock, and even spruce.
Italians use Porcini Mushrooms to:
- Add in sauces
- Add in soups or stews
- Fry it with a coating of flour or without – to make appetizers
- Use them as toppings for chicken, fish and steak
- Use in pasta recipes usually stuffed ones – like conchiglioni and even risotto
- If the upper caps are huge in size, they even grill it as if it were a piece of meat.
- It is also canned in olive oil and preserved to be later grilled or fried. The olive oil brings out the earthy tones and flavor of the mushrooms.
- They are even minced and then served on bread and bruschetta.
- Mostly even used as a topping for pizza.
Here’s a simple recipe with porcini that is made the authentic Italian way
- 4 Porcini Mushrooms (or half a package)
- Two cloves of garlic
- Three tablespoons of olive oil
- Two plum tomatoes for each mushroom
- Thyme (or any herb of your choice)
- Firstly, warm the olive oil in a pan heating over medium heat.
- Throw in the minced garlic and saute it for a couple of minutes along with the herbs of your choice.
- While the garlic is cooking away, chop the porcini mushrooms along with the tomatoes.
- Now, add the chopped mushrooms into the pan and cook for more than 5 minutes and until all water is released.
- Add the tomato pieces and all their oozing juices and reduce the heat to a low simmer and leave it on for about 25 minutes.
- Add some wine if the water level reduces drastically.
- These porcini mushrooms are perfect for any meal or even to be served as an appetizer with any kind of bread.
What’s even more alluring is the fact that porcini mushrooms cooked this way can be poured over the bed of a perfectly boiled al dente pasta to make a porcini mushroom pasta treat. In this age and day, while still combating the deadly coronavirus, this recipe is so homely, yummy and hearty at the same time. Having this ensures a level of warmth that keeps one comfortable and fills up their appetite as well. This also the ideal sauce base for making the pasta that was bought from the authentically sourced Italian food stores online. At these sites, you can buy tagliatelle pasta and even buy bucatini pasta online.
Porcini pasta is best made also like a stuffed pasta meal with a conchiglioni, cheese-filled ravioli and even tortellini pasta filled with porcini mushrooms and cheese. They also work best with gluten-free pasta and make a strong broth and stew base as well. You may try amazing recipes like these for your friends and family.