Mushrooms grow on every continent in the world (except Antarctica), so they are used in nearly every culture’s cuisine. Italian food is no exception.
Many chefs enjoy cooking with mushrooms because they are uniquely flavorful, savory and very versatile. Mushrooms can have a meaty taste, which make them a delicious substitute for higher-calorie ingredients or a great addition to make a meal more filling. Mushrooms are also low-calorie, fat-free, rich in Vitamins D and B, full of antioxidants, and a good source of potassium. Commercially, mushrooms are always grown indoors, so they are continuously in season and ready to eat.
There are thousands of mushrooms varieties, but here are some of the most common:
• Button — Also called white mushrooms, these are the most common mushrooms you will find at your local grocery store and make up 90% of the mushrooms consumed by Americans. They are a mild, all-purpose mushroom that can be eaten raw or sautéed.
• Portabella — These are a mature button mushroom with a large, fully-grown cap. Because of their dense texture, they serve as a good substitute for meat.
• Porcini — Popular in Italian dishes, these have a firm texture similar to portabellas, but with more of a nutty, earthy taste.
• Shitake — You’ll find these predominately used in Asian cuisine. They taste especially good in stir-fries or soups.
• Morel — With a unique flavor admired by chefs worldwide, these go nicely in pasta dishes. The Morchella species should never been eaten raw.
September is National Mushroom Month, but we seem to celebrate all year long because mushrooms are abundant on our menu. Here are three of our favorite dishes features mushrooms.
Chicken Puttanesca is prepared in the traditional way, but has brazen flavors that speak for themselves. In addition to mushrooms, it has sautéed fresh chicken breast, delicious diced tomatoes, onions, black olives, strong garlic, homemade marinara sauce, penne pasta and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
Cheese Ravioli is a comfort food stuffed with joy and happiness! We fill the raviolis with mushrooms that are combined with the best melted mozzarella cheese and a fresh batch of our own special tomato sauce.
American Pizza features the best combination of pizza toppings: freshly sliced mushrooms, tasty pepperonis, spicy Italian sausage and extra cheese. You won’t find a better version of this classic pizza anywhere else.