Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- ½ lb champignon mushrooms
- ½ onion
- 1 ½ oz butter
- ¼ cup Riviera Ligure Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil DOP
- ½ cup Marsala wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 slices rustic, country-style bread
- grated Pecorino cheese to taste
- thyme, fresh to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat a 12” sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and let melt. Wash the mushrooms and slice them in half. Cook them for 5 minutes or until soft, but are have not released their moisture. At this point, add finely sliced onion.
Add the rest of the butter and season with salt and pepper.
Continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat to caramelize the onions. Once the liquid from the mushrooms has almost all evaporated, remove the pan from the heat, add the Marsala or another fortified wine like Sherry.
Return the pan to the heat, making sure that the alcohol doesn’t catch on fire.
Reduce the wine by a third, then add the cream. Bring to a boil and simmer until the cream thickens. Adjust the salt and remove from the heat. Keep sauce warm until serving.
Drizzle the bread with a couple drops of olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, then toast in a hot oven or on a grill for a couple of minutes until hot and crisp.
Cover each slice of bread with grated Pecorino, a couple leaves of fresh thyme and the mushroom sauce. Place two slices of bread on each plate and serve immediately.
Although mushrooms are considered to be quite precious ingredients because it is hard to identify the non-poisonous varieties, in the past, they were considered a symbol of death and poison. Throughout the Middle Ages, mushrooms were considered the food of witches and the fruit of Satan. Even further back in the Roman period, mushrooms were a symbol of death. In his book, Naturalis Historia, Pliny the Elder wrote that mushrooms were believed to be the most lethal and dangerous food because Claudius, the Roman Emperor who loved to eat porcini mushrooms, was killed by eating poisonous mushrooms served to him by his wife Agrippina who wanted her son Nero to become emperor.
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