“Love is like a poisonous mushroom – you don’t know if it is the real thing until it is too late”
I think I may have been a witch in my former life. Last weekend, walking in the forest and picking the first mushrooms of the season I caught myself thinking I could most probably easily live off what may be found out in the wilderness. For as long as I can remember I could tell a lot of edibles from not so edible or even poisonous found in the meadows and in the woods. Being outside with no one else in sight gives me that precious sense of freedom. Not that I mind people, but when I’m out there, I am out! A perfect form of meditation. I do think mushroom picking is in my blood. If you see me walking in the forest in winter time when there is no snow, you’d still see me looking out for mushrooms, unintentionally.
False morels are among the first mushrooms of the season in our climate zone. They do require caution. Unlike porcini, chanterelle and many other kinds of more “user-friendly” ones, these ones need to be boiled several times (three to be exact) with water changed every time. And even the steam when they are being boiled can be poisonous. Hence them being “dangerous”, they are valued by gourmands and chefs and at this time of the year many restaurants offer dishes with them as a seasonal delicacy.
Recently I thought the taste of tahini somehow associated with mushrooms to me. But then I thought I can’t be the first genius to think of that. I googled and of course, there are numerous recipes suggesting the combination of mushrooms with tahini.
So here we go – pasta with morels, tahini and a few extras.
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
Cook pasta as indicated on the package. I cook it a minute less than indicated and I suggest that if you like yours al dente. Later on, when mixing in the pasta with the sauce, it will cook a minute or two longer.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic until it softens. Add morels and cook for ~10 min. I like their texture, thus I don’t chop them. Add tahini, soy and maple syrup, give it a few more minutes. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Mix in the pasta. A little trick to marry the pasta and sauce well together is pouring in a bit of water the pasta has been cooked in. It will let incorporate pasta and sauce perfectly, just don’t overdo with the liquid. Try a bit at first and mix everything well. Et voila! Serve and enjoy!