Many names and an unmistakable taste: discovering the king of the woods that grows between April and November, perfect with fish or baked in foil
The king of the forest is certainly he, the porcini mushroom. It grows mainly in the high mountains and in the areas rich in oak and chestnut trees, as the ancient Romans already knew and as the inhabitants of some regions of Italy, especially northern regions, who over time have made the porcine a real institution. An example of all is that of Borgo Val di Taro, a small town in the Parma area and home to a mushroom protected by a consortium known practically all over the world. One of the most interesting varieties of porcino is that summer which, however, to the detriment of the name, grows from April to November, therefore between spring and late autumn.
Discovering the Estatino, the summer porcini
The scientific name of summer porcini is Boletus reticulatus and it is generally born in sunny areas and under broad-leaved trees with preference for the chestnut, in the grassy clearings of the spruce woods and even among heather and juniper shrubs. In short, the summer porcini breeds a little everywhere. It has a hat that tends to crumble easily in dry and windy weather and with shades that go from beige to brown. The cuticle, on the other hand, is very thin and yielding, while the stem usually has a very marked lattice, spread to the foot and often has the same color as the hat. Summer porcini is also called aestivalis, an estatino and white fungus and of the four varieties of porcino (the others are called edulis or maquis mushroom, aereus or black mushroom, pinophilus or red head mushroom), the summer one is the most fragrant, plus small and gives off a more aroma marked. Moreover, compared to the others, summer porcini is more digestible and is lighter even to weight. The most famous summer porcini are precisely those that can be found in the Val di Taro and in the Val Nure, in the Piacenza area. But it is possible to "go to fughi" with success, when we are in search of reticulatus, also in many other Apennine woods, such as those of Garfagnana, Abruzzo and Aspromonte, and even on the heights of islands.
Recipes with summer boletus
Versatile in the kitchen, summer porcini is suitable for many recipes. Any examples? Let's start with a delicious variation of the cannelloni. The necessary ingredients, for four people, are: 400 grams of thinly sliced mushrooms, 50 grams of chopped onion, 80 of celery and chopped carrots, 40 grams of tomato paste dissolved in 8 teaspoons of water, 2 chicken stock cubes , 8 teaspoons of flour, half a liter of low-fat milk, 100 grams of grated Parmesan, 4 teaspoons of melted margarine, 120 grams of raw cannelloni with a lot of pasta thin and salt. First, brown the onion, celery and carrot in 8 tablespoons of water, then add the mushrooms and cook for about three minutes. At this point add the tomato purée and let it cook everything until the mushrooms become tender. Meanwhile, apart, dilute the flour in the milk, salt and stir without interruption: it will be necessary to stop only when the batter has become thick. Out of focus, add grated cheese and margarine and pour half of them into the mixed vegetable stews. Mix well and the result will be a delicious filling with which to fill the cannelloni. Arrange them in a non-stick baking pan, cover them with the tomato and bake at 180 degrees for about twenty minutes. That is the time necessary for the cannelloni to become golden and ready to finish at the table.
But the summer porcino is also good in foil. To prepare it in this way we need (always for 4 people) 600 grams of mushrooms, 6 tablespoons of oil, rosemary, 2 cloves of garlic, a piece of ginger, salt and pepper. Preparation: first clean the mushrooms well, cut them into wedges and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. At this point season with oil, 2 sprigs of broken rosemary, minced garlic and grated ginger. Add salt and pepper, close the foil and cook for half an hour in oven (already warm) at 180 degrees. The result will be a dish with lots of flavor and low in fat.
Sea bream and porcini mushrooms
Finally, another recommended recipe for summer porcini is that of baked sea bream with porcini mushrooms. Also this time considering a table of four people, the necessary ingredients are: a bream of about a kilo and a half, 600 grams of porcini, 20 cherry tomatoes, 400 grams of potatoes, 100 of black olives, a tablespoon of dried oregano, a sprig of rosemary, a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, a chili pepper, olive oil, pepper and salt. After cleaning the fish, add salt and pepper inside. Then cover a sheet of baking paper with a bed of thin potato slices, spread over the top sliced porcini mushrooms, the tomatoes cut into quarters, the olives, the oregano, the chopped rosemary, the thin-leaf garlic and the chopped chilli and drizzle with lemon juice and oil, salting everything again lightly. Close the foil and cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for three quarters of an hour. It will be a little longer waiting than the others just mentioned, but be sure, it will be worth it.
In the gallery the recipes tried by our editorial staff!