Matsutakes

2005.Jul.31 Sunday · 3 comments

in Food & Recipes

Pine MushroomsBuenos Aires – One of the items I was able to pick up yesterday in the Asian grocery was a bag of matsutake mushrooms. If you’re not familiar with these, also known as pine mushrooms, they are amongst the priciest of all fungi. It’s not unusual in the U.S. to see imported Japanese matsutake going for well over $100 a pound, and even the domestic ones, which are actually a different species, often sell for around $70 or more a pound. Now, I don’t know where the fresh ones here in Barrio Chino are grown, there aren’t a whole lot of pine forests in Argentina, or even if they’re the exact same variety. But for 20 pesos per kilo, i.e., about $3 a pound, I wasn’t going to say no.

Pasta with Pine Mushrooms and CreminisWoodsy, earthy, rich, are all great descriptors, sort of like a portabello on steroids. You don’t need a whole lot of them to make a mushroom dish into a meal. I took one of my old stand-by mushroom recipes and with minor modifications, whipped it up into a great Sunday afternoon pasta. I happened to have penne in the house, but I think it would have worked better with a flatter pasta, maybe something like farfalle.

½ pound of dry pasta
2 medium matsutakes, sliced
2 medium creminis, sliced
6 white button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 green onion finely sliced
¼ cup red wine
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ milk or cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt & black pepper to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan

Prepare the pasta according to standard methods. Saute the garlic, onion, a little salt and pepper for 1 minute in the butter and oil. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until lightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, then add the soy sauce. Simmer it all together until the wine/soy is reduced by at least half. Add the milk and pasta and stir until most of the sauce is absorbed. Remove from heat and top with parmesan, adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Serves 2.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

dan January 10, 2006 at 14:30

As my Spanish has gotten better, and I’ve gone back and examined various mushrooms and such more, I’ve realized that these hongos pinos are not true Japanese matsutake pine mushrooms, but just simply “pine mushrooms”, sometimes called the “American matsutake”, and is a related species. Still a great price!

krystyna October 3, 2011 at 17:57

these are not matsutake although another type of choice mushroom (lactarius deliciosus) from the lactarius genus, in Polish rydze, in my opinion way better than matsutake and possibly harder to find. No wonder you liked it. The orange stained with green and great smell are give aways.

dan October 4, 2011 at 09:15

Krystyna – thanks. See, this is why I don’t go mushroom picking in the woods. God only knows what I’d bring back.

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