With wild shapes and exotic names, more and more mushrooms are available these days. Mixing them adds layers of texture and flavor to the simplest dishes. Gourmet Mushrooms (707/823-1743), in California’s Russian River Valley, offers stunning assortments in baskets, making combining types easy.
Now the company is taking the concept of layering flavor even further in an experiment with Merry Edwards Wines, producer of delicious Pinots (an earthy wine that is a classic match for mushrooms). The mushroom producer uses oak shavings from the winebarrel-making process, then, after the mushroom harvest, sends them back to revitalize the soil in the Pinot vineyards. Try the resulting 2001 Meredith Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast; $45; 888/388-9050)―or any Pinot―with this satisfying pasta, and taste the magic.