23 April 2008

Pappardelle alla Boscaiola for Earth Day

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**

1 pound (400 g) pappardelle, ideally freshly made
3/4 pound (350 g) porcini mushrooms
2 shallots
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
Olive oil
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.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. You are a blogging machine Val. Great "earthy" flavours in honour of an important day.

  2. OK so I'm bookmarking now and will be making this next week! And I am such a big fan of Earth Day. I love that you posted on it!

  3. Lovely post sis and without the cheese we can also have it for lent.

  4. Val, that looks just delicious. I love mushrooms over pasta. And about earth day, we all can do something to save ourselves from self-destruction. That is the great thing about taking care of our home.

  5. My mouth is watering. It doesn't help that its almost noon here and I'm ready for lunch NOW!

  6. This looks lovely. I haven't seend any fresh porcini before, unless at a farmers market but I'll keep a look-out when they're in season.

  7. Porcini with pappardelle ... Mmmm. Val, this sounds delicious!

  8. Great dish Val! My mouth waters everytime I visit your posts!

  9. This is absolutely beautiful. A lovely "cheer" to earth day celebration with this earthy, lovely dish.

    Thank you for sharing it!

  10. O.k..I would like to order a plate of this and a side of the danish...

    WOW Valli, you are doing some of my favorite stuff here..I gained 42 lbs just clicking on your link. :/

  11. Happy belated Earth Day! That looks amazing.

  12. I think how Peter I didn't run with you Vall!! you are amazing!!!!
    Beautiful pictures.Looks deliciousxxxGloria

  13. That pasta sounds good. You know, I don;t recall having ever seen fresh porcini mushrooms anywhere...

  14. You captured the taste with that beautiful picture Val!

  15. I love most pasta dishes and this looks delicious.

  16. I did not make anything special for earth day. What a good idea. I like anything with mushrooms.

  17. Lovely, earthy and fresh. I would love to have a bowl of that in the near future.

  18. I can eat two plates of this beautiful pasta and drink half of that bottle of sauvignon blanc! Nice photograph and pairing!

  19. Mmmm...I am so making this soon! Loved the fact that you paired this dish with a wine suggestion. Very helpful, thank you!

  20. Interestingly, I made a pasta mushroom dish last night myself. As you might expect, mine had an Indian flavour. Would certainly like to try your version. Anything with mushrooms is more than fine with me!

  21. Yum, yum, Yum! Need I say more?

  22. Oh this is beautiful Val!! It looks so scrummy I could eat it off my screen - mmmmm

    Rosie x

  23. lovely pasta dish val and wanted to let you know that masa harina is corn flour- hth some and you'll be able to try them for yourself one day!

  24. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I have to say that I love yours! This pasta dish looks amazing!

  25. this looks delish!

  26. I agree with Peter g.... you are a blogging machine :D
    I love my pasta with mushrooms and bacon or cured ham, so I could have 3 dishes of yours... well maybe only 2 ;-)


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