Storified by Arya McLean· Sat, Mar 23 2013 19:20:22
The flavors of the wild stand out in this basic recipe for fresh noodles. Boletus mushrooms and calamint flowers thrive in the forest and mountains, and in this recipe, they are used to give earthy and ferocious flavors to fresh pasta, creating a rustic and exotic dish that will titillate the taste buds and perk up the senses.
Calamint, also sometimes spelled as calament or calaminta, is closely related to thyme and a member of the mint family. It has a sweet and aromatic odor resembling the Pennyroyal. Calamint flowers are typically dried and made into tea. The taste is a bit like spearmint but warmer, instead of cool, with hints of marjoram. Also known as Melissa of the fields, wild balsam, or mint of the mountains, calamint is also considered a medicinal herb used to relieve the stomach and alleviate melancholy. As a culinary ingredient, they bring zest and vibrant color to the dish.
Called cepes in French, steinpilz in German, porcini in Italian, stensopp in Swedish, and borowik in Poland, boletus mushroom is a kind of mushroom for cooking and is one of the most treasured wild mushrooms in the world. Meaty and robust in flavor, a small addition of boletus bits enhances any dish. No wonder vegetarians prize them as much as carnivores honor bacon.
It’s not so difficult to make your own fresh pasta. If you don’t have a pasta maker, you can still make pasta with unbleached all-purpose flour and eggs, but you will be doing a lot of kneading. You can shape the pasta anyway you like, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s even more charming if it looks rustic; that’ s the essence of homemade after all.
On a wooden table or board, make a mound of three and a half cups unbleached all-purpose flour. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs. Beat the eggs using a fork and incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim and working your way outwards. Knead the dough using the palms of your hands until it is elastic and a bit sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough as thin as you desire and cut to make fresh pasta.