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Recipe

Fregola with Wild Mushrooms, Sherry & Cream

Scott Phillips

Servings: six as a side dish or three to four as a first course.

If you can’t find chanterelles, hedgehogs, or porcini mushrooms, substitute cremini. This pasta is delicious with seared duck breast or roast pork.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, hedgehogs, porcini, or a mix
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 medium shallots (4 oz.), finely diced
  • 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-1/4 cups fregola sarda
  • About 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for sprinkling

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 300
      Fat Calories (kcal): 200
      Fat (g): 22
      Saturated Fat (g): 12
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
      Cholesterol (mg): 65
      Sodium (mg): 240
      Carbohydrates (g): 19
      Fiber (g): 1
      Protein (g): 5

Preparation

  • Gently clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth or mushroom brush to remove any dirt or debris and use a paring knife to remove any dark spots or tough stem ends. If the mushrooms appear sandy, dip them quickly into a large basin of water and drain. Leave small, bite-size mushrooms whole; cut larger mushrooms into 1-1/2-inch pieces.
  • Set a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/2 Tbs. of the butter and 1/2 Tbs. of the oil. Swirl the pan to melt the butter and add half of the mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked through and golden brown, about 6 minutes; the cooking time will vary, though, depending on the type of mushroom and its water content. (Avoid stirring the mushrooms too frequently, or they won’t brown well.) Transfer the mushrooms to a plate. Add another 1/2 Tbs. butter and 1/2 Tbs. oil to the pan and cook the remaining mushrooms. Combine all of the cooked mushrooms. When they’re cool enough to handle, chop them coarsely.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat. (It’s not necessary to wash the pan unless it’s scorched.) Add the remaining 1/2 Tbs. butter and 1/2 Tbs. oil. Swirl the pan to melt the butter and add the shallots, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sherry and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sherry has evaporated, about 1 minute. Return the mushrooms to the pan, add the cream, season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and cook until the cream has thickened slightly, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and keep warm.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fregola to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 10 to 14 minutes. Drain and immediately toss the fregola with the mushroom mixture. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer to a platter or individual plates, sprinkle with the Parmigiano, and serve.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • colleenanne | 06/11/2008

    Really, REALLY good. I cut back on the cream for the sake of my waist (substituted some chicken broth) and it was quite excellent. I used this for a vegetarian main course, rather than a side dish.

  • ROLLORUGBY | 11/26/2007

    Outstanding. Very French tasting (with all that cream!) and plenty of earthy mushroom flavor. Found the fergola in a up-scale market and liked it; however, the toasty flavor did not come through the cream and mushrooms very much. How would Sardinians use the pasta?

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