Seattle has a reputation for constant rain. Natives such as myself know that isn’t true–it only rains in fall, winter and spring, and even then, just a light drizzle. Regardless, we natives also know that the rain brings us treasures in the form of chanterelle mushrooms.
As our short summer wound down last week, I watched the rains begin–along with the complaints from those who have moved here from cities with summers that go past labor day. As others complained of the wetness, my head danced with visions of the reward we Seattleites get for enduring the rain.
There is something that I love about going out and finding the most delicious foods, whether it’s locating an underground izakaya in New York or digging my own razor clams from the ground. I can’t put my finger on just why food is so much more delicious when I’ve spent time, effort, possibly far too much of both, seeking it out. So there I was, bright and early on a fall-like Sunday morning, walking about in the rain, with a silly, oversized basket, brushing my hands about on the forest floor.
For all the dreary rain, though, these dots of golden color coming up from the ground provide the perfect antidote. A chilly apartment can be easily warmed with the smells of chanterelles sauteing on the stove. There are any number of things you can do with chanterelles, but for my first foray of the season, there was only one dish I could do.
Simple Chanterelles with Rosemary and Fresh Pasta
Rosemary grows everywhere around Seattle, my backyard included, so I start by warming up butter, heavy handedly adding the herb. Meanwhile, I start the water boiling for the fresh pasta. We (B does much of the work for pasta making) used the recipe in this post, though used some whole wheat flour for extra flavor to stand up to the strong texture and flavor of the mushrooms. The mushrooms go into the butter, along with a pile of salt and pepper–again, with a heavy hand, these will bring out the natural flavors of chanterelles. When the mushrooms soften, I throw the pasta into the water, and everything comes together. I take the pasta out, move it into the pan with the mushrooms and add a little pasta water. The heat does its trick and the whole dish comes together, textures, and flavors, perfectly, delightfully.
The thick chew of the mushrooms, the light give of the pasta, the strong herb from the garden. This dish warms the room–and the season.