Spring in Montana brings out Morels or as I call them, fungi gold, in the forests around our area. They are a finicky mushroom that only usually grow in May and June. They also vary year to year in the location where they grow, and they may or may not be in the same area that we found them the year before. I grew up looking forward to May and hiking through the forests behind our house looking for these pinecone shaped fungi. Problem is there are a ton of little pinecones on the forest floor also and trick us constantly. It is not easy to find these sneaks but when you do get sight of one, it is like we won the lottery! You have to be careful because the usually grow in groups or patches, so if you see one, there are more likely more nearby! We found a few the other day so tonight I cooked them up in a mushroom sauce we put over three cheese ravioli. I usually just fry them in salted butter, but thought I would try it a little different and I do have to say I really liked this recipe. I used a recipe I found on the internet as a base but changed it a lot so I’ll just explain how I did it.
1 large package 3 cheese ravioli
4 tablespoons – divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
As many halved & prepped Morel mushrooms as you want **
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, minced
fresh or dried rosemary to taste
2 Tbsp. Half/Half
1/3 – 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1. Heat water to boiling in a large pot and season with salt
2. While water is heating, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
3. Once sauté pan is hot, add rosemary and mushrooms. I used salted butter so I don’t add anymore salt.
4. While mushrooms are cooking, drop the ravioli into the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon.
5. Add the thinly sliced garlic and the minced shallot to the mushrooms. Cook 2-3 minutes or until garlic and shallots are cooked through.
6. Boil ravioli according to directions on the package and drain. Reserve 1/3 cup of pasta water.
7. Add the 1/3 cup pasta water, the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, and the 2 Tbsp. half/half to the mushroom sauté. Boil for about 2 minutes and then add ravioli.
8. Add Parmigiano and toss all together until pasta is covered. Serve Immediately!