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Roasted slices of bread with porcini mushrooms, flavoured with "nepitella".

(Crostoni di funghi porcini, alla nepitella)

  • 4 slices of stale Tuscan bread, finely cut
  • 300 grams of fresh diced boletus
  • 30 grams of dried boletus reconstituted for 30 minutes in a big spoon of water
  • a small spoon of boletus broth granular stuff
  • a boletus stock cube
  • half meat stock cube
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped onion
  • one well tied small bunch of "nepitella" (it is an aromatic herb)
  • a spoon of tomato purée
  • half spoon of white flour
  • 30 grams of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Put in a blender, together with a big spoon of hot water, the granular stuff, the half meat stock cube, garlic and the chopped onion. Mix all this stuff very well until it becomes a homogeneous mixture, then pour it in a small pan together with butter and the small bunch of "nepitella". Slowly boil this stuff for about 7-8 minutes, turning it, until garlic and onion will not send out anymore their prickly smell. Take the blender once again and, together with another half big spoon of very hot water, put the dried boletus, with their water (please take care to the sand on the bottom), the boletus stock cube, the white flour, a pinch of pepper and mix all this stuff very well. Turn and mix very well and when it starts to thicken add gradually a cup of hot water, in which you have previously melted the spoon of tomato purée. Then add the small pieces of fresh boletus to the mixture which is boiling in the pan, boil them for 20 minutes and then, after having taken out the small bunch of "nepitella", having tasted and eventually added some salt and pepper, remove the pan from the heat and spread this stuff on the roasted slices of bread. Serve them very hot at the beginning of the meal.
September is the month of mushrooms, so for this reason we normally present recipes made with these delicious products of the wood. From the hors d'oeuvre to the second courses, everything feels the presence of mushrooms. It is possible to buy, at the market and with more tranquillity, mushrooms of every size because in autumn they are less worm-eaten. You can find also "old" mushrooms, which are indicated for some kind of courses as they are very tasty and cheap.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati


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