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.
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
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.
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.
Add the garlic, crushed chili, oregano, and marjoram. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
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.
Serve ladled over the pasta with a drizzle of good olive oil and some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.