Champignons au Riesling with Spaetzle
Inspired by the Alsatian dish, Coq au Riesling (chicken with riesling), this humble yet comforting dish is a rich combination of caramelized mushrooms, bacon and shallots simmered in a creamy, wine-spiked sauce, and finished with fresh tarragon. Spoon over crispy, buttered spaetzle for the ultimate warming, winter bowlful.
Valfleuri's Egg Spaetzle—also known as spätzle—is a classic and cherished Alsatian pasta cut. Unlike its shorter, squatter German and Swiss counterparts, this French spaetzle is a thick strand about 3–5 inches long with a coarse outer texture. Made with a high percentage of eggs (7 eggs per kilo of semolina!), it's rich and supple with a toothsome al dente bite.
Recipe, food styling and photography by Asha Loupy
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- 4 ounces slab bacon, cut into matchsticks (or lardons)
- 1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, cut into large, bite-sized pieces
- 3–4 tablespoons mild extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Tellicherry Peppercorns
- 2 large shallots, cut into a small dice
- 1 cup riesling, or dry white wine
- 1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- One 8.8-ounce bag Egg Spaetzle Pasta from Valfleuri
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat starts to render and the bacon just starts to turn golden brown, but is not crisp, about 3–5 minutes. Transfer the cooked lardons, using a slotted spoon, to a medium bowl and set aside.
You should have a few tablespoons of rendered fat left in the skillet. If there isn't enough, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Increase the heat to medium high and add half of the mushrooms, tossing them to coat in the fat, season with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper and arrange in a single layer. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, stir and then continue sautéing until they are deeply browned and caramelized, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked mushrooms into the bowl with the lardons.
Add another two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining half of the mushrooms. Once the second batch is caramelized, add the first batch of cooked mushrooms, the reserved lardons back into the skillet along with the shallots and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots soften and start to caramelize, about 5–6 minutes.
Add the white wine to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetable stock and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the sauce has reduced by a third and is just thick enough to cover the back of a spoon, about 18–20 minutes. Stir in one tablespoon of chopped tarragon, reduce the heat to low and keep warm until the pasta is done.
While the sauce is simmmering, bring a large pot of abundantly salted water over high heat. Add the spaetzle and cook until al dente, about 16–18 minutes (or, according to the package's directions if not using Valfleuri). Drain the pasta and set aside.
Return the pasta cooking pot to medium heat. Add the butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the reserved cooked spaetzle, tossing to coat in the fat and arranging the pasta into an even layer. Cook until the bottom layer starts to turn light golden, about 2–3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of chopped tarragon and gently mix.
To serve, transfer the spaetzle to a large serving platter or individual plates and spoon a generous amount of mushroom sauce over the pasta. Enjoy with a glass of riesling!