Pasta with Morel Mushrooms and Asparagus
1/2 ounce package dried morel mushrooms (about 5-6 mushrooms)
3 ounces (or more as desired) fresh morels
1 pound dry spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
3 medium shallots, peeled, finely chopped
1 pound asparagus, rinsed, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup vegetable stock
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
— Juice and zest of 1 lemon
— Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
--Chopped parsley for garnish
In a large bowl, place dried morels and 8 cups boiling water, set them aside until the morels are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. Clean the fresh morels, placing them in another bowl of water and swishing them around to remove any dirt. Remove, pat dry and cut them in half (if some morels are small, leave them whole.)
Using a slotted spoon, remove the reconstituted mushrooms (reserving the liquid) to a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the reserved soaking liquid into a large stockpot. Add additional water sufficient to cook pasta, bring to a boil. Season water with kosher salt, add the spaghetti; cook, stirring, until al dente, about 10 minutes or according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it for about 1 minute; do not let it brown. Add the shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
Add the reserved morels and fresh morels, plus asparagus and stock, bring to a boil. Cook, covered, until tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover, stir in the cream, cook until it’s slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add pasta, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and cheese. Toss until evenly combined. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with more cheese, if desired. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.