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While Morel mushrooms are ideal for this dish, you may need to substitute for what is available. If you'd like to substitute fresh morels, use vegetable stock for the mushroom liquid and 1/3 pound fresh morels. Adapted from burrataandbubbles.com Vegetarian
Place dried morel mushrooms in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let mushrooms sit for 20-30 minutes. Drain, reserving the morel mushroom liquid. Quickly rinse mushrooms and slice in half.
Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add morel mushrooms and cook until golden, about 4 minutes and then add garlic to cook for 30 seconds, stirring often. Reduce heat and add balsamic to deglaze flavor from the bottom of the pan.
Pour in 1 cup of reserved morel mushroom liquid and cook until it reduces to about 1/4 cup. Stir in heavy cream and allow to heat to a near simmer. Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted. Let simmer for a few minutes to thicken, but do not boil. (if the sauce is ready before the pasta, turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir occasionally).
Drain pasta when ready. Turn off the heat on the sauce and stir in chives and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper as needed. Toss pasta into the sauce. Divide into bowls and serve with crusty bread if desired.
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