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‘Mess’ of Porcini mushrooms and potatoes

  • About 700 grams of sliced or largely chopped porcini mushrooms passed under a trickle of water and dried
  • 800 grams of large potatoes cut as finely as possible into large slices
  • 30 grams of dried porcini mushrooms
  • the leaves of ten stalks of calamint or field balm
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 200 grams of thick tomato juice
  • ½ spoon porcini mushroom stock granules
  • 1 porcini mushroom stock cube
  • 50 grams of butter
  • ½ spoon of white flour
  • olive oil
  • finely grated bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
In a small pan put ¾ litre of water and the stock cube boil for 2 minutes then put in the dried mushrooms, take of heat and allow them to re-hydrate for 10 minutes, then put in the blender (having previously set aside a ladle of stock to finish the ‘mess’) with the calamint, half the butter, the garlic, the granules, and the flour, blend until very liquid and with an intense aroma of mushroom and calamint. Take an oven tray big enough to take two layers each of mushrooms and potatoes. Oil the pan well and moisten with a few spoons of the blended ingredients. Layer the potatoes evenly, season and moisten with the blend, the next layer is of mushrooms again moistened with the blend add a further layer of potatoes in orderly fashion, lightly season cover with the tomato juice, then add the remaining mushrooms and remaining blend. Evenly pour over the stock previously put aside and heavily dust with breadcrumbs, dot with the remaining butter and place in oven (if using gas make sure not to rest on the bottom of the oven) at moderate heat 160° for 35-40 minutes. Serve as main dish.
The result is a very tasty dish and it is also economic, since you use all the mushroom parts, as being covered by the breadcrumbs any imperfections would not be noticed even by the most particular. At the same time the potatoes are also transformed by the tasty mushrooms as they have an incredible capacity to absorb the flavours of the foods cooked with them. At other times we have advised not to wash the porcini mushrooms but here we recommend to do so. This is not a contradiction but simply that these had been dusted with salt to force out any "mushroom skipper" therefore a light wash was necessary to remove both things.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni


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