In pursuit of Funghi Porcini:On our first night in Rome, we race off to our favourite restaurant on Campo dei Fiori. After a few weeks on the road, a fix of good Italian food is much needed and at La Carbonara, we know that we’ll have a good meal.
I eagerly ask the waiter if they have funghi porcini and he points to the next table saying that the last serve has just gone to the people at that table. What a tragedy – they didn’t even have a few slivers of porcini left to put in my pasta!
The anticipation of a tasty porcini meal was so great that I couldn’t hide my disappointment. The waiter quickly reassures me that we haven’t missed the porcini season. It’s just that it’s Sunday, the markets are closed and they weren’t able to get more supplies. He promises that when we return from our Cinque Terre trip, they’ll still have porcini.
A Second Porcini Attempt
A week later I am back again at La Carbonara on my mission to dine on this King of Mushrooms! For my primi piatti I order linguine ai porcini and for my secondi piatti I’m having porcini arrosto.
Tony tells me that it’s silly to have porcini in both courses as there’s no contrast in flavours, but my waiter friend says that I’m not breaking any gastronomical codes and that it’s okay to have whatever I like. I love Italian waiters – they know how to look after customers, especially female ones!
I tuck into my porcini pasta, managing to splatter oil all over my blouse. The food is absolutely delicious and the linguine ai porcini takes care of my food addiction on two fronts – my love of pasta as well as love of porcini. The porcini arrosto arrives and the heavenly aroma hits our senses. On biting into the delectable mushrooms, the roasted flavours hit your palette first and it then leads to an almost ‘creamy’ texture on the inside. The fresh chargrilled porcini that we’ve been dreaming off since last season did not disappoint.
Was I silly to have two porcini dishes? Well actually, no. The porcini cooked in the pasta has a different flavour to the chargrilled porcini and besides it’s a long wait till the next porcini season.