This recipe is based on two wonderful ingredients in the Forage box Christmas hamper, acorn flour and wild mushroom stock powder with Hen Of The Woods, Porcini, Cauliflower Fungus, Dryad’s Saddle, Brown Birch Bolete, Orange Birch Bolete. Forage Box are a subscription service delivering a monthly box of wild ingredients. Whether its blitzing wild garlic into fresh pesto enjoying freshly-picked British chanterelle mushrooms on toast, Forage box aims to inspire home chefs wild the magic of wild and foraged ingredients provided by nature.
The acorn flour in this dish gives the fresh pasta a delightful nuttiness which complements the creamy crème fraîche sauce with earthy notes from the wild mushrooms and wild mushroom stock.
When making the fresh pasta, only a small amount of of acorn flour is needed or the pasta dough becomes too brittle to roll/run through a machine. The appearance of the fresh acorn fettucine is beautiful, the strands of tagliatelle are golden with little mottled flecks.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
45g acorn flour
107g semolina flour
107g plain/tipo 00 flour
3 eggs + 1/2 yolk
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp of salt
nob of butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
100-200g wild/speciality mushrooms
20g wild mushroom stock powder
100ml boiling water
65g crème fraîche
juice of half a lemon
100g baby spinach
50g grated parmesan
Preparing the fresh pasta
Place the flour in a mound on a large cutting board. Then use your fingers or a spoon to create a good-sized well in the middle of the flour mound. Add the eggs in the center of the well. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the olive oil on top of the eggs. Use a fork to begin whisking the eggs. Then once they are combined, begin gradually whisking some of the surrounding flour into the egg mixture, adding more and more until the egg mixture is nice and thick. Then use your hands to fold the rest of the dough all together until combined. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkling some extra flour on the cutting board if needed to prevent sticking or if the dough seems too wet or sticky. (You want the dough to be pretty dry.) Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 45 mins.
Use a knife to cut the dough into four equal wedges, then set one wedge aside and wrap the remaining three in the plastic wrap again and place back in the fridge. Sprinkle the cutting board (or a large baking sheet) generously with flour, and set aside.
Using your hands, shape the dough wedge into a oval-shaped flat disc. Feed the dough through the pasta maker on the widest setting. If you don't have a pasta maker you can roll the pasta until paper thin and then slice intro strands.
Once the sheet comes out of the widest setting, fold it into thirds and feed it through the rollers 2 or 3 more times, still on the widest setting. Continue to feed the dough through the rollers as you gradually reduce the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta reaches your desired thickness. Connect the cutter attachment to your pasta maker, feed the sheet through the attachment to create your desired shape of pasta. Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, or lay carefully over the side of a bowl and sprinkle with plenty of flour ready for cooking.
Add the mushroom stock to the boiling water in a small bowl and set aside.
Prepare a pan of salted boiling water for the pasta.
Heat the nob of butter over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic, once it's started to gain colour toss in the mushrooms and for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until reduced (otherwise there will be too much liquid).
Add the crème fraîche and mix thoroughly in the pan until warmed through and combined. Add the lemon juice and spinach, leave on a low heat whilst you cook the pasta.
Add the fresh pasta to the pan of salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Drain the pasta, and to the pan of sauce and mix through. Season and add a generous amount of grated parmesan.