The Rovello mushroom
(red pine mushroom or saffron milk cap mushroom)
I had to present to you the #1, the ultimate, the prestigious, the favorite mushroom from Catalonia, Spain; the famous Rovello mushroom. Called whether Red pine mushrooms or saffron milk cap in english those pinkish/brownish, earthy, meaty mushroom are simply irresistible! Catalans like to go by themselves in the woods to pick them up from september to novembre, it’s kind of a seasonal event. Although you can find them also at the market around Catalonia in the fall, with mountains of other types of mushrooms, but this one, the rovello, is their favorite. The mushrooms are abundant in northern Spain, in the red pines forest and the Basques and Catalans (both located north of Spain) are big fan of mushrooms, their gastronomy is filled with them, although, strangely in the rest of Spain, they are not so popular. Lucky for me, living in Catalonia, and loving mushrooms, I found myself in a delectable mushroom heaven. Here, the rovello are considered the caviar of mushrooms and I have to agree with it, they are fantastic. The texture isn’t chewy like most mushrooms, they are quite firmer and taste just divine, triple the flavor of a portobello.
The Catalans usually make simple recipes with them; whether it’s Rovellons escalivada (marinated) or just a la plancha (grilled) with a bit of garlic, parsley and olive oil or in stew. The only down side of Rovello mushrooms is that there are quite dirty, meaning they have a flesh filled with cracks which hold up a lot of dirt. Well… I assure you, it’s the one and only down side of the mushroom. So… you’ll have to clean them one by one with a toothbrush… yes… I know, it’s a boring and a long process but I believe the hard work always give great results and those mushrooms are simply just too delicious to stop at the cleaning part. You can also pass them rapidly under water to pick up the dirt and immediately pat them dry, to prevent the mushroom from filling up with water which would make them saggy at coccion time.
For this season of rovello, I’ve came up with a pasta dish that would highlight the mushrooms. I’ve simply done the mushrooms the usual way; fried in the pan with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic and parsley. Than I’ve added the mushroom to a broccoli cream smooth pasta which won’t take the focus away from the mushrooms and fits perfectly to the meaty mushroom! If rovello are out of reach for you, simply use shiitakes or a nice earthy mushroom to replace it.
Let’s make this rovello pasta!
The Rovello mushroom on a broccoli cream pasta
Makes 4 portions | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 30 minutes
- 500g of linguine or tagliatelle pasta
- 1 broccoli
- 100ml of white wine
- 200ml of cream
- nutmeg, salt and pepper
The rovello mushroom
- 30 rovellons or mushroom of your choice clean them up
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 handful of flat leave parsley
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Start by cleaning the mushrooms using a toothbrush or water and pat dry, reserve
- Blanch the broccoli in the big pot of boiling water for the pasta (soak them in the salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes to cook them up aldente)
- Once the broccoli are bright green, take them out and soak in ice cold water (just running cold water is fine) to stop the coccion and keep their nice bright green color
- In a medium pot add the wine to boil, 1 minute
- Add the broccoli and the cream and blend with an immersion blender
- Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper cook to keep warm, low heat, for 2-3 minutes, reserve
- Add the mushrooms to a sauté pan, drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper and cook at high heat for about 4 minutes
- Add the minced garlic, parsley cook another minute and reserve
- Cook the pasta in the same boiling water used for blanching the broccoli, until al dente
- Drain the pasta, put back in the pot, add the broccoli cream sauce and mix
- Serve the rovellons mushrooms on the pasta