Pine Mushroom Ragu

I love autumn: it’s my favourite season of the year. Time to take a ramble through a pine forest. Go early in the morning after rain at this time of year and hunt for pine mushrooms, also known as Saffron Milk Caps. Go with an experienced hunter. Now pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are appearing on roadside stalls. Inspiration to make pumpkin gnocchi with the classic pairing of sage butter sauce. And ending this autumnal feast, one can’t go wrong with a hot fruit desert. If you are like me I have jars of fruits from season’s excess – plums, berries, apples, rhubarb and quinces. Break out a bottle or stew some apples and mix it up with one of those other jars and make a crumble—or try a fruit sponge.

(Recipe adapted from Kylie Kwong’s ‘Mushroom Ragu’ in Heart and Soul)

8 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 tbsp sea salt
750g pine mushrooms
, roughly chopped
125g butter
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
black pepper, cracked
1/2 cup dry white wine
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Place garlic, onions and salt in a heavy-based pan. Cover with the mushrooms. Top with butter, olive oil and pepper and place, covered over high heat for 5 minutes, without stirring, to allow the flavours of the onions and garlic to penetrate the mushrooms.
Uncover. Add wine, stirring to combine. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are just tender. Stir in parsley.
Serve with giant pasta, or a spoonful of polenta.
(Serves 4)