This Chanterelle Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta is a simple yet sumptuous dish which deserves to be served for a special occasion.
First of all, I have to congratulate Kelsie on a correct guess. When I was making those edible black cats, I was certainly thinking of that little black dude I met a while ago. Also, I was going to include this story in my previous post because they are connected, but I was too lazy for a long narrative. But since Kelsie asked not to postpone any longer, here we go…
It happened approximately a month ago shortly after I met that black cat and fed it the sausage.
I have to mention that the area we live is full of different wild animals. I’m not talking of coyotes, though – something more casual. There are plenty of bunnies and squirrels, but if you live in North America, that’s not surprising. There are a few raccoons which you can see not that often. Two times we’ve witnessed a cute opossum.
Also, lately I’ve seen 3 cats, including the black guy. Sadly, it seems they’re homeless. Besides, I think they’re the siblings as they are the same age, and they often mingle together.
And unfortunately, skunks are very common too (I’m not prejudiced against them. I consider them very handsome animals. It would be just an unpleasant thing to suddenly bump into one and frighten it.)
I occasionally see them at nights or, most often, in the mornings (And my mornings often start early, at around 5 a.m. or so) bossing around and inspecting the garbage. Once I clearly saw three silhouettes crossing the road one after another, far from me, in darkness. The very first animal was a bit larger and 100% the skunk (two others were smaller and had a slightly different walk than skunks normally have, but probably it’s okay for baby skunks), so I thought that was a family.
But I can say I’d never seen the skunks really near our house. Ain’t our garbage that delicious?
Talking about garbage, in September I started to see trash bins and bags fallen down and torn apart which is not a very common thing (I think our raccoons and skunks are well-mannered creatures, so they don’t make too much mess). I won’t lie that I immediately thought the skunks were the culprits here. However, few morning in a row I saw those cats around the black bag’s garbage, and I wasn’t that sure who was doing this.
Are you tired of reading? It’s almost the culmination of the story.
So one morning (It was about 5.15 a.m.) I opened the door just to verify my outfits were appropriate (I was still wearing the gym shorts and t-shirts…nice September mornings, I’ve missed you), and I immediately shut it on.
Right across the street, near our neighbors, I had seen a skunk working hard on the black garbage. When my heart stopped beating too fast (a minute later), I decided to open the door again to finally find out the weather and let the skunk know that I would be leaving the house shortly, not intending to go to war.
The skunk had succeeded and basically was already in the of the bag leaving outside only its tail.
Then my peripheral vision recorded an animal on our porch who would disappear in a second. “Another skunk!” Luckily, that was one of those 3 cats (Later on my mom-in-law would say that one of this cats often sleeps at night on our balcony, on the armchair. I didn’t know that!)
Since the skunk was too busy to notice me, it was safe to observe the scenery…and I saw two other cats around the garbage bag. All that time they were nearby, but once noticed me they started running away.
One of them saw me and stopped for a second.
That was that black dude!
It obviously recognized me.
I exclaimed “Dude, seriously?! I was feeding you with the delicious turkey sausage, and this is the way you’re paying me back? Bringing all your friends? I’m not giving any food to the skunk!”
I swear the cat was embarrassed.
Then I realized the skunks weren’t the main problem in our neighborhood. The cats! Cat mafia. I won’t be surprised if they were the skunks’ supervisors! Of course, I’m joking now – the cats as the smart creatures just waited until the skunks made all the dirty work with the garbage to join later.
However, I’m not quite sure about those 3 silhouettes. Did I really see 3 skunks or somebody else? Hmmm. What do you think?
Oh gosh, I told you it would be a long story!
Chanterelle Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta
Let’s talk for a minute about this scrumptious Chanterelle Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta. Pesto made with wild mushrooms, included chanterelles, is a very common in the Scandinavian countries. Combined with walnuts (or other nuts), it has a pleasant nutty earthy flavor.
The thing is that it’s so hard to find them around Toronto. I only saw fresh chanterelles a couple of times, and once the price was completely outrageous – 30 Canadian dollars for a pound. I mean what?
Luckily, 4 years ago I found you can buy dried chanterelles. They’re a bit pricey too, but you’ll need just a handful of them to make this Chanterelle Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta which cost me about 7 dollars. Add some pasta, walnuts, and olive oil, and you’ll have two or free servings for less than 20 dollars. Not that bad at all, right? We have to indulge yourself once in a while.
- 2 - 2,5 cups of pasta
- 1/2 cup dried chanterelles
- 1 small white onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. extra version olive oil for cooking and 2-3 extra tbsp.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Soak the dried chanterelles in one cup of warm water, for 15 minutes.
- Remove the mushrooms and wash to remove the dust and sand. Strain the water few times and reserve as you can use it (instead of olive oil)
- In a pan place the butter, 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic and onion and cook 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes.
- Stir in the walnuts, basil, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for another few minutes. Remove from heat and cool a little.
- Pulse the mixture in the kitchen processor adding either 2-3 tbsp. extra version olive oil or the same amount of the strained water (or the combination of both) until thick but spreadable enough.
- Cook the pasta as per the instructions, until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and combine it with the pesto (You will likely not need all the pesto, so transfer it to a container and keep refrigerated and serve as desired!)