Rachel's Table

Happy CSA Day! {Weeks 2 and 3}

Tomorrow is CSA Day! I will go to Home Grown Cafe and pick up my box of lovely, organic vegetables. It’s like Christmas every Tuesday.

I’m covering CSA weeks 2 and 3 together because both boxes contained mushrooms–regular old white mushrooms, Portobello caps, and shiitake.

CSA Beauties

CSA Beauties

I’ve never been a picky eater, but I know some people cannot abide mushrooms. I can kind of understand it. Mushrooms are spongy, dirty, and categorized as fungus. But these are the characteristics that make mushrooms taste so good! Their sponginess causes them to soak up flavors effortlessly. Their “dirtiness” gives them an earthy, hearty deliciousness that is unmatched.

I love mushrooms almost as much as I love CSA Day.

So here’s my Ode to the Mushroom in recipe form (if your sweetie loves mushrooms you might want to make this on Valentine’s Day):

Ode to the Mushroom Bolognese


1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

4 carrots, roughly chopped (I washed mine, but did not peel them)

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 ounces white mushrooms, cut in half

6 ounces Portobello mushrooms (2 caps), diced largely

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 dried red chili, crushed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup red wine

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice

1 cup tomato puree

1 pound of spaghetti or linguine, cooked

Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese for serving

In a food processor (I only have a tiny one as you can see from the photo below. A normal sized one would make this part of the recipe much more efficient), pulse the onion and carrot together into small pieces. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large pot and heat over medium high heat. Transfer onion and carrot to the pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is my cute, but way-too-tiny food processor

This is my cute, but way-too-tiny food processor

Meanwhile, add 1/2 of the white mushrooms to the food processor. Pulse until mushrooms are not quite pureed (see photo). Add the other half of the white mushrooms and pulse again, this time stopping when mushroom are coarsely chopped. Transfer the white mushrooms and the Portobellos (these do not go in the food processor) to the pot.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, stirring.

Look away if you don't like mushrooms. This might make you sick.

Look away if you don’t like mushrooms. This might make you sick.

Add the garlic, crushed chili, oregano, and marjoram. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.

Chilis from Peppermeister. You'll be seeing these again very soon.

Chilis from Peppermeister. You’ll be seeing these again very soon.

On it's way to mushroom sublime-ness

On its way to mushroom sublime-ness

Add the tomato paste and the sugar. Cook and stir for 3 more minutes.

Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes so some of the alcohol cooks out.

Break up the whole tomatoes with your fingers and transfer those to the pot, along with the juice from the can. Add the tomato puree. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and add more kosher salt, if necessary.

'Shroom Sauce

‘Shroom Sauce

Serve ladled over the pasta with a drizzle of good olive oil and some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.

No meat, no problem

No meat, no problem

Sauce so good it requires a close up

Sauce so good it requires a close up

What are your thoughts on the controversial mushroom? Love ’em or hate ’em?


  1. I adore mushrooms! My local “CSA” in Lille doesn’t quite work the same way as it does in the States, and I can order my produce ahead of time from farmers (vegetables, meat, cheese, milk, and other stuff too), but we don’t have anybody selling mushrooms! I’ll have to talk with the guy who takes care of the sales and see if he doesn’t know somebody who grows mushrooms (locally, that’s the whole idea). But I did get… heaps of Jerusalem artichokes again!
    Thanks for a lovely post and sauce. It looks fantastic.

    • I like the sound of your CSA, because you’re able to choose what you want. I would love some more Jerusalem artichokes but can’t find them near here.

      Good luck on your mushroom search!

  2. So you’re making this for our brunch, right? Misty said she wants a double batch. 😉

    And what attractive peppers those are! This really does sound delish, although Peppermeister doesn’t eat mushrooms, so this is, I think, the first time the two have met.

    I think my favorite mushroom is shiitake, but that’s because it’s one of the only kinds I can ever remember the name of.

    P.S. – Where’s Mr. Rache? I know exactly what he can buy for you Valentine’s Day (it rhymes with schmull schmize schmood schmocessor).

    • So Peppemeister doesn’t like tomatoes OR mushrooms. I’m shocked and more than disappointed.

      That’s an excellent idea about the schmood schmossesor. Are you translating this, Mr. Rache? Better yet, Jules, will YOU be my valentine?

  3. You’re killing me here, Rache. KILLING me. Sigh. Why do you hate me?

    And I think we’ve already established where I fall on the nasty fungus: Pro or Normal person. Blech.

    And on an unrelated note . . . JULES! Are you listening? Tell Pep I want some of his peppers!! (Not like THAT! I mean, unless that’s what it will take . . . no, I’m just kidding. Probably. I think). My birthday IS coming up . . . 😀

  4. Um, YUM. I will definitely be making this one, as I am an avid mushroom enthusiast. C even likes them (and spinach too! just like her mama) so there’s no doubt she is indeed my child.

  5. YUM. I love food fungus! My anti-fungus friend always liked to tell me how they grow from dog poop but I pay that no mind. Anyway, that’d make it more organic.

    Your food processor and mine seem to be long lost twins, size-wise. I never use it though. I go the Julia Child route, au natural chopping. Actually I think she preferred a grinder?

    • They do grow from poop. Why doesn’t that bother me? Most of the vegetables I eat grow from poop, too, if the farmer does his composting right (I sound like such a gardenerd).

      I RARELY use my tiny food processor. What I didn’t say is that I tried to use my immersion blender to pulverize the mushrooms, but it didn’t work so well.

      Julia liked using the food processor to make bread dough, but that’s about it.

  6. Mushrooms are my favourite! But alas, I do not have a food processor. It’s on the ‘want’ list. I might have to do my best chopping my mushies because this recipe sounds delish!

  7. Mushrooms – definitely 2 thumbs up. I sauteed some portabellos last night in a little garlic olive oil w/ onions and added bunches of spinach at the end. With a Boca Tomato Basil burger – pretty yummy!

  8. Mushrooms…LOVE!! No local grown ones that I know of, but I don’t miss a mushroom dish at any restaurant that has one. We eat ’em every day, except my oldest picks them out (good…more for me). In miso soup, stir fries, on salads — a staple in my fridge.

    Bookmarked this one. I’ll bet I can pass it off on John.

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