Seasonality, Sustainability and an Autumnal Pasta Recipe
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Guest blog from our friends at Pasta Evangelists who want to share with us their favourite autumnal past recipe
Tackling food waste is integral to the Pasta Evangelists story. While developing the concept for our fresh pasta business, we were shocked to learn that over 80% of food goes to waste in a typical fine dining restaurant. We wanted to serve up that same five star restaurant experience, while evoking the philosophy of the Italian mamma who never lets anything go to waste.
Fortunately, our pre-order model and pre-portioned product enables us to only order what we need, while any unsold dishes can be quickly redistributed to our takeaway kitchens across London.
In the globalised world we live in today, where we're able to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables like mangoes, asparagus and avocados all year long, it’s sometimes easy to forget the environmental impact of transporting these fresh ingredients across the world. By making conscious choices to shop for more seasonal ingredients, we’re able to keep sustainability at the forefront of our minds and reduce our individual carbon footprint.
Produce that’s grown locally and in season not only tastes better, since it’s allowed to naturally ripen before picking, but the nutritional value is generally much higher. This is because once fruits and vegetables have been harvested, the nutritional content (such as vitamin C and antioxidants) steadily begin to decline. Buying produce grown closer to home, or locally, can increase the overall amount of nutritional content we consume while also reducing our carbon footprint.
That’s in addition to the fact that buying seasonal fruit and vegetables is often much cheaper due to their abundance during that period of the year. At Pasta Evangelists, we love to let the seasons guide the ingredients we hero throughout the year, which in turn inspires seasonal dishes, like our autumnal pappardelle with creamy porcini & wild mushroom ragù.
We’ve decided to share this classic recipe from our Head Chef Roberta with you because all of the main ingredients are currently in season, so it’s the absolute perfect time to give it a go!
Italian folklore speculates that porcini mushrooms only sprout at the dawn of a new moon. In spite of their rarity, this cherished ingredient is a prominent fixture in Italian cuisine. Officially the boletus edulis, porcini may thank the Ancient Romans for its sweet, albeit a little unflattering name – the term translates to ‘little pigs’ in English. In spite of their humble appearance, these gourmet mushrooms pack a flavoursome punch, imparting strong notes of umami into any dish they grace.
October is prime porcini season, but using dried porcini is a sustainable way to enjoy these nutty gems all year round. Gently rehydrated in boiling water and paired with fresh wild mushrooms for texture, these fabulous fungi are the centrepiece of our creamy and comforting tagliatelle dish. Complimented by the piney fragrance of rosemary, as well as sumptuous garlic infused cream, this dish is a winner amongst both vegetarians and carnivores. Pappardelle proves a perfect vehicle for this robust ragù and, of course, we recommend making your own from scratch – totally simple, and totally worth it. If you fancy making your own pappardelle, check out our step-by-step recipe here.
Creamy wild mushroom pappardelle recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 486 kcal
- 400g fresh pappardelle
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1-2 celery stalks, diced
- 50g of dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water
- 750g wild mushrooms
- 100g cream
- 50g tomato puree
- ½ cup mushroom stock (save the water you used when rehydrating your mushrooms - this makes a great stock!)
- 2 tablespoons corn flour, if needed
- Several sprigs of rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rehydrate your dried mushrooms in 1 - 2 cups of boiling water. Reserve the leftover water - this is your deliciously umami mushroom stock.
- Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Add your onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, stir fry your mushrooms until golden brown in a glug of olive oil. Add your garlic and gently sauté, ensuring not to burn the delicate ingredient.
- Add your sautéed onions, carrot and celery, tomato puree, stock and cream, before laying a couple of sprigs of rosemary in the mixture, allowing their flavour gently infuse the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and leave to simmer for a few minutes.
- If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of corn flour to thicken the sauce, stirring cautiously to make sure it is fully combined with the mixture.
- Boil your fresh tagliatelle in liberally salted water for no more than 3-4 minutes, until al dente. Drain and immediately add to the sauce. Should you need to loosen the mixture, simply add a splash of your pasta water, to achieve a glossy sauce that adheres perfectly to your fresh tagliatelle.
- Serve your dish immediately, with a generous sprinkling of black pepper. Buon appetito!