This is based on a Nigel Slater idea which blends sweet and earthy tastes and textures of root vegetables with the rich flavour of wild mushrooms. He suggests using dried chanterlles, but I think drying such a fragrant and delicate ingredient is an abomination so have changed these to porcini and I have also changed his mascarpone or double cream for creme fraiche to give a slight tang to the sauce.
40g Dried porcini
250g Mushrooms (preferably a mixture of wild, but cultivated will do, especially a mix of shitake, oyster and chestnut)
I clove garlic
garlic 1 clove
olive oil 5 tbsp
8 sprigs thyme about
Creme fraiche to taste
For the vegetable pappardelle:
4 Large carrots
2 large parsnips
2 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl, pour enough boiling warm water over them to cover and leave for 10 minutes, until rehydrated.
Cut the fresh mushrooms into a mixture of cubes and thick slices. Peel and crush the garlic. Warm the oil in a casserole, add the garlic and then, as it begins to soften, the field mushrooms. Let them cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, until they are dark and soft. Add the sprigs of thyme then the hydrated mushrooms and their soaking water. Leave to cook, on a low heat, for a good 20 minutes.
Peel the carrots, parsnips or whatever root vegetables you are using and then shave them into long strips with a vegetable peeler. Warm the butter in a shallow pan, add the vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes, until tender but not soft. Season with salt, pepper and the chopped parsley.
Stir the mascarpone into the ragout and check the seasoning. Pile the tangle of vegetables on to warm plates or in shallow bowls, spoon the mushroom ragout on top, and serve. You could also use this as a sauce for a wide pasta or creamy polenta.