‘Finferli’ are very common, funny-looking mushrooms known by several names. In English they are chanterelles or golden chanterelles, and Italians call them about a dozen different ways: besides finferli, in Italy they are also called galletti or gallinacci.
According to the Mycological Society of San Francisco—a dangerously enticing site, especially the cookbook section—these mushrooms vary in size from continent to continent, the European varieties being smaller and reportedly tastier. MSSF offers the following pointers when choosing chanterelles at the market (of which I observed precisely none when making my road-side mushroom purchase) :
- They should have a fragrant odor.
- The color should be golden or apricot.
- They should not be slimy or have dark, decaying parts.
- The gills should not be granular, fragmenting off the fleshy portion of the mushrooms.
350-400 grams of tagliatelle pasta
325 grams (about 1 & 1/4 cup) of finferli mushroom (pieces)
2 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls butter
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper, about 1/2 tsp of each
2 Tbls dry white wine
1 Tbls chopped fresh parsley
Boil water for the pasta. Carefully rinse the the mushrooms then chop them into roughly uniform pieces. Heat the olive and butter together on low heat in large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook, swirling it around, for about 2 minutes. Don’t let the clove turn dark. Remove the garlic and add the mushroom pieces. Gently toss the mushrooms in the fragrant butter/oil for 3 to 4 minutes, add the wine, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. The total cooking time shouldn’t be more than about 8 minutes, and the mushrooms are ready when they are tender and slightly browned. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley and toss thoroughly. Cover to keep warm.
Cook the pasta al dente (so just a few minutes if your tagliatelle are fresh) then transfer to the sauce pan. Stir all very well, correct for salt, and serve. A wee sprinkle of quality grated parmigiano is good on this.