Chefs Gayle Pirie & John Clark
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
1 lb orecchiette pasta
1 lb golden chanterelles, (porcini, horn of plenty, black chanterelles, or maitake mushrooms can be substituted) cleaned, and sliced thinly
4 T olive oil
sea salt to taste
2 T minced shallots
2 t minced garlic
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup crème fraiche, plus more if needed
3 oz Savoy or Bloomsdale spinach, cleaned & patted dry
1/2 cup freshly shelled walnuts, toasted in the oven for 7 minutes, and lightly chopped
1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese (optional)
Put a pot of water on for the pasta. Place pasta in water and cook until tender with a chewy center, about 12 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with sea salt to taste, and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until they have released their moisture and then reabsorbed most of the pan juices. This step provides a little extra mushroom flavor. Add the shallots, garlic and vegetable stock. Simmer together over low heat for about 5 more minutes.
Stir in the crème fraiche, taste & adjust seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add more crème fraiche if you desire more richness. Turn off heat. Drain the pasta and combine in sauté pan with mushrooms. Sprinkle the pasta with a little sea salt, and add the spinach leaves, tossing everything together in the pan a few times. The heat of the noodles and sauce will wilt the spinach without cooking the green leaves too much.
Place pasta on a warm serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and Parmesan and serve immediately.