Orzo with Honey Mushrooms

The honey mushroom, Armilleriella mellea, tends to get slimey when cooked. You can improve the texture by cooking it in a sauce with high acid content. In this dish the mushroom merges well with a white wine and lemon butter base. The resulting dish is so rich that I recommend small servings, with fresh bread and vegetables to accompany it and cleanse the pallette.

Sautée the shallots and garlic together in the butter for a few minutes. Add the mushroom caps (cleaned and halved) and sautée further for 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice, and reduce the liquid for about 10 minutes. Once you have added the liquid to the mushrooms, begin cooking the orzo in a 4 qt. pot with boiling salted water. Cook on high for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

While the orzo is cooking and the mushroom broth is reducing, create a roux with:

Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan on low heat. Add the flour and stir well until it thickens and begins to turn slightly darker (a few minutes). Add the wine, continuing to stir, then add the parsley and nutmeg. Now combine with the mushrooms and their broth, mixing into a creamy sauce. By this time the pasta should be nearly ready. Strain the orzo and place in individual serving bowls. Spoon the mushroom sauce onto the orzo and gently fold the sauce into the pasta. Sprinkle with a bit of parsley and parmegiano cheese if desired, and serve immediately.