|Paparedelle alla Boscaiola|
Yesterday was Earth Day held on April 22. It is the annual celebration of the environment and a time to assess the work still needed to protect our planet. Thousands of local events are held in schools and parks that mark the day which is observed around the world. More than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activities as well. Environmental challenges are a keen issue. Our everyday actions pollute and degrade the fragile environment that we depend on to survive. Earth Day provides the opportunity for awareness which hopefully initiates the beginning of positive actions and results.
Earth Day was first launched as an environmental awareness event in the United States in 1970. April 22 is celebrated as the birth of the environmental movement. Earth Day is a powerful catalyst for change. To find out what you can do on a daily basis visit this site .
What better way to celebrate than to celebrate with a meal of "earthy" wild mushrooms from deep within the rainforests on the coast of British Columbia. I have cheated a little (maybe a lot) by using mushrooms from my grocers. I leave the searching out of wild mushrooms to the foragers and experts. To celebrate the day I chose Pappardelle alla Boscaiola or Woodsman's Pappardelle ( pa-par-DAY-lay). Pappardelle are flat ribbons of pasta that are sold either dried or fresh.
Pasta with a mushroom sauce is one of the most common Italian restaurant dishes in Milan, Italy. The recipe calls for porcini which are necessary to do the dish justice. You should use fresh porcini, but, they are not available this time of year, so you will have to go with dried.
Purchase cultivated mushrooms and a 20-gram (1-ounce) packet of dried porcini (this will be about a half cup, packed; if you want, you can use more). Steep the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, then mince them and add them to the cultivated mushrooms. Strain the steeping liquid, since it may contain sand, and add it to the sauce as well. The other option, in the absence of fresh porcini, is to use the wild mushrooms available where you live, combining them with some cultured mushrooms and some steeped dried porcini.
I served this dish with a Cabernet Savignon from Jackson Triggs an Okanagan winery not far from here.
**Pappardelle alla Boscaiola - Woodsman's Pappardelle**
3/4 pound (350 g) porcini mushrooms
3/4 pound (350 g) canned tomatoes, drained
A small bunch of parsley
1 clove of garlic
The leaves of a sprig of rosemary
A few leaves of sage
Dry white wine
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Clean the mushrooms, brushing the dirt away from the stems; separate the caps from the stems; dice the stems and cube the caps, keeping them separate.
Mince the shallots and the herbs and sauté them for a few minutes in 4 tablespoons of oil in a casserole. Add the diced stems, cook another minute, and then add a half cup of wine and the tomatoes. Season with a little pepper and simmer the mixture for a half hour. Add a little more wine and a drop of water ( I used liquid from the canned tomatoes), and the cubed caps.
In the meantime bring pasta water to a boil, salt it, and cook the pappardelle. Drain the pasta and add the sauce; serve with grated cheese.
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