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Wild Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

It pays to have friends that forage (thanks, Ken!). I was recently gifted some lovely Shrimp of the Woods (Entoloma abortivum, Photo 1 lower left) and taken to a spot to find more Bear’s Head Tooth (Hericium americanum, Photo 1 upper right). You can read more about my first time finding Bear’s Head Tooth (when I made the mistake of not collecting it!) here:

Photo 1: Bear's Head Tooth (Hericium americanum, upper right) and Shrimp of the Woods (Entoloma abortivum, lower left).

My first approach with any new-to-me edible fungus is to just fry it and see what it tastes like (Photo 2). Shrimp of the Woods is a dense, meaty mushroom with a mild, pleasant flavour. Bear’s Head Tooth is much more delicate, but equally mild and pleasant. I could see using the Entoloma to top a pizza, sandwich, or burger; I think the Hericium is better suited to pasta with a cream-based sauce. I decided to try them both in a homemade Wild Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo!

Photo 2: My first approach with any new-to-me mushroom is just to fry it up and see how it tastes.

I don’t always have fresh Alfredo ingredients on hand, but had some heavy cream left over from Thanksgiving that was still good, and a bunch of fresh Asiago that could sub for the Parmesan. The mushrooms are so mild, I worried the dish would be a bit bland, so I tossed in some Basil, Garlic Powder, Oregano, and Hot Pepper Flakes, then added a pinch of Allspice. I browned the mushrooms in butter (Photo 3) and then added them to the sauce and let it simmer very gently for 30 minutes. The result was fantastic if I do say so myself (Photo 4)! I will definitely try this with other wild mushrooms.

Photo 3: I browned the mushrooms before adding to the sauce. The final product was browner than this, more like what you see in Photo 2.

Kate’s Wild Mushroom Fettucine Alfredo

¼ cup butter (plus a bit more for frying the fungi)

¾ cup cream

¾ cup grated fresh Asiago (or Parmesan)

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Pinch of Allspice

Wild mushrooms of choice (I used about 1.5 cups of sliced Entoloma abortivum and Hericium americanum)

Fettucine (or pasta of choice)

Melt some butter in a frying pan and add your mushrooms. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you make the sauce.

In a saucepan, melt ¼ cup butter and then add the cream. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a simmer. Add the Asiago and continue to cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the basil, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and allspice. Reduce to low to keep warm and stir occasionally until the mushrooms are browned. Add browned mushrooms to the sauce and bring to a very gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is thicker than you want, add some milk.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once drained, combine pasta and sauce, stir well, and enjoy!

Photo 4: The final product isn't exactly a health food, but it's darn good!

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Hi Freda. I can! I like and regularly use “A Simple Guide to Mushrooms of the Northeast” published by Adventure Publications and “Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada” published by Timber Press. 😊


Freda Terpstra
Freda Terpstra
Oct 18, 2023

Hello Kate, wondering if you could give me a good resource for identifying wild, edible mushrooms that grow on PEI. Thank You, Freda Terpstra

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