Chanterelle Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta

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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.

8 thoughts on “Chanterelle Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta

  1. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says:

    You have a lot of stories about animals, Ben! As an animal lover myself, I say bring on all the stories… as long as there is still food. ;) LOVING this pasta! It’s super unique and looks just delicious! Be a friend and deliver me some… mmmm’kay? Cheers!

  2. Katherine | Love In My Oven says:

    Ben! I think my computer hates me – or your site. I’ve tried commenting at least twice but it doesn’t seem to stick. Here goes my last try!! Just wanted to say I’m a little jealous of your skunk encounter – I love them! Not their offensive smell, but they are so darn cute. Also loving the pesto and walnut combo – walnuts are my favourite!!

  3. Evi @ greenevi says:

    Ben, your pasta dishes look always so amazing! I’ve never used dried chanterelles before, but now I will go and look for some, because I really wanna try this recipe. Walnuts and chanterelles sound like the best combo ever!

  4. says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your story about the skunks and cats rummaging through your local bins. Although I can appreciate it’s really not been that nice for you! I just like to hear good stories, that’s all! And of course then there’s this delicious chanterelle walnut basil pesto pasta recipe. As a huge fan of making my own pesto, I’m definitely into this my friend! Thanks for the inspiration. I just need to see where I can get dried chanterelles!

  5. Marissa says:

    You’ve had some seriously close encounters, Ben! It’s so interesting how animals behave totally differently at night!

    Love the classic flavors you have going on in this pasta! Those chanterelles make this a perfect special-occasion dish!
    Marissa recently posted…Roasted Lamb ChopsMy Profile

  6. Laura says:

    I love the idea that the Cat Mafia runs the world. You know, they know where to get what they need – just follow the skunks. This recipe sounds so great – I love mushrooms and just bought a big bag of chanterelles at the grocery. They seemed pretty cheap to me for such lovely creatures. Thanks for this recipe!

  7. David @ Spiced says:

    Man, it sounds like you’ve got a whole colony of “friends” who come out in the evenings up there, Ben! I bet you had no idea how alive your neighborhood really is in the middle of the night! Also, I must say that I like the way you called out that cat. I mean how dare he (she?) get into your garbage after you feed him such amazing turkey sausage?? I’m thinking you should save this pasta dish just for you. I mean the cat doesn’t deserved it after getting into your trash! Plus, the mushrooms. Mmmm. I love mushrooms in pasta! Plus, we have a freezer full of pesto, so this recipe is perfect!

  8. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says:

    LOVE this story! It reminds me of Tigger, my cat when I was in high school. (My cat, not my parents’, they were adamant.) He used to let raccoons and other cats come in the house via his cat door at night; my sister referred to them as his posse. My mom lived in fear that one of the raccoons would attack her dog. . .I guess she’d prefer they stayed outside and went through her garbage but what a pain for you! I think the little black guy just liked you so much all his friends wanted to meet you too! Also, this pasta sounds OMG amazing! I’ve been on a pesto kick lately so you’re posting it at a perfect time :)

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