Cavatelli Pasta with Morel and Asparagus Cream Sauce

John and I shared a lovely dinner with Mindy and Ken using the last of the morel mushrooms a few weeks ago. We walked over to Hyde Park Produce to purchase fresh pasta, asparagus, and ingredients for a cream sauce.  There are a multitude of things that I will miss about Hyde Park when my eventual move to a new neighborhood occurs, but Hyde Park Produce vies for the top of the local establishment list (contending only with the Florian Caffe).

For the pasta we chose long, plump strands of fresh cavatelli.  This thick pasta perfectly complemented the asparagus both visually and texturally.

We wanted to create a cream sauce that would complement the luscious taste of the morels without overpowering them.  Through a bit of research we concocted our own recipe.

Morel and Asparagus Cream Sauce

3 large and fresh morel mushrooms
1 1/2 C dry white wine
1/2 C finely chopped shallots
3 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 lb thin asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 C heavy cream
3/4 C plus 3 Tbl cold and unsalted butter cut into tablespoons

Rinse and chop morels.  Melt 3 Tbl butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add morels and saute until water has leached out and mostly reabsorbed.  Remove morels from heat and set aside.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for a few minutes, remove when just undercooked (before turning bright green.) Set aside.

In a large and heavy skillet simmer 1 C of the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots until reduced to a few tablespoons. Add the cream and simmer for one minute.  Add 1/2 C of white wine, the morels, and asparagus and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add 3/4 C butter and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until creamy.  Remove from heat once incorporated.  Do not over cook.   Salt and pepper to taste. 

Cook 1 1/2 lbs pasta as directed and cover with the warm morel cream sauce.  Serve and enjoy.

show hide 8 comments

Esther - It is an amazing pasta salad and you have balanced it well with a chunky sauce.
{Cavatelli Pasta no doubt tastes best with wild mushrooms and duck, but with asparagus you could have added shrimps.
Asparagus, shrimp and cream could have suited best to the white wine pairing. I would be great if you could add the seafood element to it next time.

jenjen - this pasta looks great I have never this kind of shape before. I must try this recipe sometime Thanks!

Erielle - Where did you find cavatelli in Hyde Park?
P.S. I tried the pizza at Florian after reading your post awhile ago, and it was truly delicious! Usually I go for their curried chicken salad but now I will have to trade off between the two.

Dianka - Wow, you managed to use all of my most favorite ingrediants in one dish! Looks amazing!

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Wild Eats - Morel Mushrooms and Dandelion Greens

If you want to try them another way, here’s a recipe for Cavatelli Pasta with Morel and Asparagus Cream Sauce. It looks and sounds fantastic, despite my earlier ranting.

Wild Eats - Morel Mushrooms and Dandelion Greens

To some people, frying something this delicate (and expensive) is a sacrilege.

Tammy - This sounds like a great recipe, and I almost believe your promise of noninterference with the Morel taste! I’ll have to try this, despite my usual insistence upon nearly naked morels. Asparagus and cream sauce sound like perfect companions for morel mushrooms.

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