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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rich and Intense Mushroom Broth with Butternut Squash Amaretti Ravioli

Inspiration:  The pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter sauce sprinkled with crushed amaretti cookies we had at Harry's Bar in Cernobbio, Italy.  

Serve with some brown butter cooked enoki mushroom and pine nuts.  Rich and delicious.

This intensely rich mushroom broth goes so well with pasta.  Use a good store bought ravioli of your choice or create your own butternut squash amaretti raviolis if you have time.  I also use it when I make mushroom risotto - just spoon a little around the cooked risotto when plating.  Soooo good!

Timing:  Active time:  10 minutes, cooking time:  about 1h15.

Rich and Intense Mushroom Broth:  Makes 2 1/2 cups of broth (4 servings)

How to make it:

  • 2 small packages of white button mushrooms (450g), cleaned, tip of stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, sliced in half and roughly chopped
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cubes of dried vegetable stock
  • 2T (30ml) of corn starch
  • 2T (30ml) of water
  • salt
Start by putting the oil (1T - 15ml)  in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add the chopped shallot (1 medium) and chopped leek (1 medium) and cook to soften for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly - no colour.

Add the chopped mushrooms (450g) and cook until the mushrooms begin to release their water (about 5 minutes).

Add the water (4 cups - 960ml), the sprigs of fresh thyme (5), the whole peppercorns (6) and the bay leaf (1).  Crumble in the cubes (1 1/2) of dried vegetable stock and stir to combine.  Bring to a gentle boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.

Place a sieve over a smaller pot and strain the broth, pushing down hard on the solids to extract as much flavour as possible.  

Return the smaller pot to medium heat and allow the broth to reduce until you have 2 1/2 cups left (simmering for about 45 minutes).

Dilute the cornstarch (2T -30ml) in the water (2T - 30ml).  Bring the broth back to a gentle boil and whisk in the diluted cornstarch.  Allow the broth to thicken for about 2 minutes.  Taste and season with salt.  Your are now ready to serve.

How to make the brown butter cooked enoki mushroom and pine nut garnish:

Place 4T (1/4 cup - 60ml) of salted butter in a saucepan.  Cook over medium high heat until the butter begins to colour (about 4 minutes - a light brown colour).  Add a handful of enoki mushrooms and the pine nuts and coat with the butter.  Cook a little longer being careful not to burn the butter - it should have a rich nutty smell.  Remove from heat and reserve until ready to plate.  

I hope you enjoy!

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