Porcini Dumplings

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: About 1 hour

These dumplings are full of mushroomy flavor that’s almost meaty. Increase the ratio of porcini as you like; fresh shiitakes are a good substitute if you don’t have any porcini on hand.

Serve the dumplings in a flavorful broth, add them to Farro Soup, top with Creamy Nut Sauce, or toss with spaghetti and Fast Tomato Sauce as a twist on spaghetti and meatballs.

2 cups torn or chopped day-old bread or 1 cup Fresh Bread Crumbs, or use store-bought, or more as needed

1/2 cup milk or cream, or more as needed

3 eggs

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter

2 ounces dried porcini, reconstituted (see Reconstituting Dried Mushrooms) and chopped

1 pound any fresh mushrooms, trimmed and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

Combine the bread, milk, eggs, and Parmesan in a large bowl, mix well, and set aside.

Put the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, add the mushrooms, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and rosemary. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until tender, with some liquid in the pan, another couple minutes or so.

Add the mushrooms to the bread mixture, stir well, and let sit for at least 15 minutes or up to a day, covered and refrigerated.

Bring a large pot of Mushroom Stock or other vegetable stock or salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat so it bubbles steadily. If the batter seems too soft to hold its shape when rolled into balls, add bread crumbs; if it’s too stiff, add milk. Form the mixture into balls no more than 11/2 inches in diameter and drop the dumplings into the pot as you roll them. When they come to the surface, after about 5 minutes, they are done; remove with a slotted spoon.

Variation

Multigrain and Herb Dumplings. Delicious with Garlicky or Spicy Tomato Sauce: Omit the mushrooms and increase the bread to 4 cups torn or chopped day-old multigrain bread; increase the milk to 2 cups and add 1 cup mixed chopped herbs (parsley, chives, thyme, basil, rosemary, or tarragon). Skip Step 2.