This is one of those perfect autumnal dishes that warms your bones and leaves you in a contented slump on the couch. This is not a light, pretty or delicate kind of dish, it's deep, earthy and totally comforting. I've adapted this recipe from Simon Hopkinson's version and I think it turned out fantastically. At the first mouthful Isaac and I exclaimed a loud "Mmmmmm" in unison and barely said a word until we squabbled over seconds!
You start off with 500ml of milk in a saucepan (I used low fat cows milk but if you wanted to make it with a milk alternative I'd use a light and unsweetened version as otherwise it would be far too heavy) and 15g of dried wild mushrooms. I used a combination of Italian porcini and dried French wild mushrooms but whatever you can get your hands on is perfect. Poach the mushrooms for about 10 mins on a low heat making sure the milk doesn't boil but that the mushrooms become soft. Turn off the heat and leave it to sit for another 10 mins with the lid on.
During this time I sauteed 2 large field mushrooms in a pan with some thyme and a bit of garlic and set aside. Strain the mushrooms from the milk but make sure to catch all the liquid in a bowl. With a bit of flour and butter (I used a vegan substitute) make a roux and whisk in the still warm milk and seasoning until thick and glossy. I cooked enough tagliatelle for 2 for about 8 mins before adding it to the white sauce and mushrooms.
To finish it off I sprinkled garlic and herb breadcrumbs (you could use cheese if you wanted) over the top and baked it in hot oven for 20 mins until golden brown. This is such a delicious meal and I'm positive I'll be making it again on those cold, autumnal nights when nothing else could hit the spot.