Sometimes I wonder how it is like to live in the mountains. As I turn 360 degrees, the panorama doesn't stop captivating me with its beauty. I have been going to the Dolomites for 12 summers already following my husband's footsteps of spending about 30 summers in these mountains. How is it like that we never get tired of this place?
I used to tease him that he should explore other places in summer. Now, I am the one who is hooked. I even beat him in planning our summer mountain escape every year. Our kids (our dog included) are the fourth generation who are taking their summer trips here. They are growing up to be mountain lovers just like we had been hoping they would.
One by one, the kids wait for their turns for the last touch of tying the bandannas around their necks that go along with their tyrolean clothes & hiking boots before going out to trek with us. There is always a fight on who gets the red bandanna because they both like it so we never give it as a choice. Even our dog jumps for joy when he sees his own red bandanna.
I found these fresh chanterelle mushrooms in the fruit & vegetable shop. I was meaning to cook & preserve them with vinegar & extra virgin olive oil just like how my 5-year old loves it but since the shops close so early here, I didn't make it on time to buy a bottle of vinegar. Gosh, in here, we are always on the run to try to make it to the shops before closing time. We can never get used to the early closing times. I cooked the mushrooms instead with speck & fresh tomatoes for the pasta sauce for dinner.
Penne Rigate with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Speck & Tomatoes
- 350 - 400 g. penne rigate or any short pasta
- 250 g. chanterelle mushrooms or any similar mushroom
- 150 g. speck, cubed
- 300 g. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 onion, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup of red wine
- a bunch of parsley, chopped finely
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- parmigiano reggiano, grated
1. Boil some water in a pot for the pasta. When the water boils, put the pasta and cook until al dente or cook the pasta a couple of minutes less than the suggested cooking time in the package.
2. Meanwhile, saute' the onions in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil. When the onions sizzle, add the cubed speck. Toast.
3. Add the cleaned mushrooms. Toss with the speck for a few minutes. Let the liquid evaporate a little bit.
4. Add the tomatoes. After about 5 minutes, add the red wine. Cook with medium fire for about 20 minutes or until the liquid sauce thickens.
5. Season with salt & pepper. Add the cooked pasta and toss for about 3 minutes with the sauce. Add the chopped parsley.
6. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano before serving.