This Morel and Pea Rigatoni is one of our favorite things we’ve made recently. It’s incredibly simple and a great way to use gorgeous Morel mushrooms. It’s best to avoid rinsing mushrooms, but since Morels are hollow and have a honeycomb-like exterior, a quick soak is the best way to make sure your Morels are free of grit. Blanch your peas in a large pot of heavily salted water until they turn bright green, then cool them immediately in an ice bath or under very cold running water.
You can really make this dish all year round. If it’s not Morel or pea season, just substitute a different type of mushroom and use frozen peas instead of fresh ones. If you use frozen peas, you do not need to blanch them before adding to the butter.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 15 Morel mushrooms, cleaned
- 8 ounces Rigatoni
- 2 ounces good quality butter (we used this Italian one)
- 1 cup peas, blanched until just tender
- Splash of heavy cream
- Handful Parmesan
- Pour enough olive oil into a large skillet to just coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat, then add the Morel mushrooms and cook until they just begin to soften. Season with a pinch of salt, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat a large pot of heavily salted water over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add the rigatoni and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, rinse the skillet, then add the butter to the pan. Heat the butter over medium heat, and add the peas and a splash of cream. Return the Morels to the pan.
- When the Rigatoni has cooked for 2 minutes less than the package instructions, transfer it to the skillet using a slotted spoon, along with a splash of the pasta water to thicken the sauce. Increase the heat and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until the sauce just begins to thicken.
- Toss in a small handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.