Recipe of the Week – Wild Mushroom Pasta

I love pasta with wild mushrooms – it is one of my favorite dishes.  The problem is that my kids hate mushrooms so I never make it.  Last night, Passover had ended so pasta was back on the menu, the kids are visiting their grandparents for spring break and I had a bottle of Twelfth Night Pinot Noir leftover from a tasting that just so happens to pair perfectly with mushrooms.  The stars were aligned so I whipped up this delicious dish for a tasty dinner after a chilly, rainy spring day.  Perfect!

Wild Mushroom Pasta

  • WildMushroomPasta2/3 oz dried morel or porcini mushrooms
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling-hot water
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as oyster, chanterelle, or porcini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lb dried egg fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Soak dried mushrooms in boiling-hot water in a bowl until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain in a paper-towel-lined sieve set over a bowl and reserve soaking liquid, then rinse soaked mushrooms. Pat dry and finely chop.

Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté fresh mushrooms with garlic, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chopped soaked mushrooms and reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and simmer 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Ladle out and reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander, then add it to mushrooms in skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook over moderately high heat, tossing and adding some pasta-cooking liquid if necessary to lightly coat, 1 minute. Add chives, parsley, lemon zest, and juice, then toss well. Serve immediately with cheese and pepper to taste.

Gourmet  – September 2006

Meanwhile back at the winery…

20140415_151749Antony is busy putting the juice of our first pick (back 4 weeks ago) into barrels where it will age for the next nine months.  Lucie (from Toronto) is carefully monitoring the process, but with such a wonderful smile, how can anything go wrong!  Another 18 months before we can start offering the 2014 cuvée to our faithful followers.


Harvest officially finished early this week and our vineyard has been completely stripped of its fruit.

Kia Ora / Thank you / Merci / 감사합니다 / Danke to our faithful crew Antony, Edouard, Julien, Miran, Corentin, and Nathan and to our “backpackers” Alix, Christine, Damien, Guillaume D, Guillaume J, Hannes, Jamie, Jennifer, Julie, Malyon, Marlene, Olivier, Pierre, Robin, Sebastien, Sophie, Thomas, Tony and Yannick.  A special thank you to our neighbor Andrew for helping as well.

See some of Max’s harvest pictures here and check Christine’s blog

See you all in 2015!

Team Vela 2014

Recipe of the Week – Amazing Passover Chocolate Toffee Matzo

It’s the second night of Passover and we are hosting the Seder. I just finished making the best part of the meal – these Amazing Passover Chocolate Toffee Matzo. I’ll be surprised if anybody eats anything else! Hag Sameah! Happy Passover!

Matzo toffee cookies-001

For 30 servings

6 whole matzos
1 cup salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
20 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line baking sheets with foil and pinch the edges into a lip to contain drips. Grease the foil well with butter. Place the matzos onto the baking sheets, breaking them in half if needed.

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the brown sugar over medium heat; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer the mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes. Ladle the hot sugar mixture over the matzos, spreading the mixture over the matzos with a rubber spatula.

Bake in the preheated oven until the sugar mixture is bubbling and thick, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool until the toffee coating is firm, about 15 minutes.

Place the semisweet chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on Low until the chips are just melted (do not let the chocolate overheat or scorch). Spread the melted chocolate over the toffee-coated matzos; sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Place the baking sheets into the refrigerator until the treats are cold, about 30 minutes. Remove the matzos from the foil, break up into pieces, and store in an airtight container or plastic bags in refrigerator or freezer.