All Things Mushrooms With Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce Recipe


All Things Mushrooms With Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce Recipe

Our Fascination With Mushrooms

I have a fascination with fungi, seeing all the different types that grow in my garden, the vast array of shapes and sizes they come in, the colours and the aromas.

From the cutest little Birds Nest Fungi with what look like tiny eggs in them to the Devil’s Fingers, a species of Stinkhorn fungus, that look and smell like the beginning of zombie apocalypse. 

I also love picking mushrooms, field mushrooms that is.

Growing up on a farm it was my favourite time of the year, spotting rings of button to larger mushrooms in paddocks where cattle or horses had grazed.  My father would always carry an old bread bag in his pocket, ready for us to fill and bring home for dinner.  Now I am on my own piece of land I avidly watch for them each autumn but it is very hit and miss as to whether they appear in my paddock and this year I couldn’t find a single one, whereas a couple of years ago they were everywhere.

Types Of Mushrooms 

Before commercially grown mushrooms were commonly available, we were limited to these but availability of mushrooms to all of us has advanced significantly since then. 

Not only can we get the more commonly known button and portobello mushrooms, but exotics are becoming more mainstream. 

Button mushroom are just a baby version of the parent mushroom, and what we commonly consume as a button is a baby portobello.

A white button is a baby white portobello and a brown button is a baby brown portobello.  Buttons, which are the most popular, get picked and make space for those growing around them to mature to adult portobello size.

Origins & Where They Grow!

While many other types of mushrooms are grown overseas, in New Zealand the only exotics that are allowed to be grown are Oyster, Shiitake and Enoki.  Loved by many and found a bit scary by others.  The systems for growing here are boutique and niche as demand for these matures.

The Shiitake mushroom is a native to Asia where it grows naturally in forests, looks most similar to our non-exotics and is the second most common of the exotics mushroom.  It’s common name “Shiitake” comes from the Japanese work “Shii” which refers to the wood belonging to the Pansania species of tree that they naturally grow on. 

The Oyster mushroom grows on trees in the wild across the world’s subtropical and temperate forests, commonly decomposing logs and dead trees. 

The Enoki is however the most popular exotic mushroom and the most different looking one, not short and squat but long and thin, grown in the dark to encourage it’s stems to grow to be long and thin and white.

In the wild it differs a lot in colour, texture and sliminess and grows in clusters on trees.

Taste, Texture and Versatilty

Each different mushroom has a unique taste, texture and versatility. Which is why we decided we needed to offer all the different options so that regardless of your favourite type or recipe you were attempting,  we could offer all the mushrooms.

Which begs the question, how do you like to eat your mushrooms the most?  Is it buttons on pizza, enoki in Asian soup, a big portobello in a burger, or a combination of all in a creamy mushroom risotto? (or do this based on connecting through to our own recipes??)

In our house it has to be a creamy mushroom sauce on a melt in your mouth Meat Box steak.

It is the umami-ness of their taste which makes mushrooms work so well in so many different meal types. Umami is the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. In Japanese it means “delicious”.  For food lovers, the umami nature of mushrooms adds a deep, complete flavour, balancing savoury flavours with full bodied taste.   All mushrooms contain umami but it is most abundant in Shiitake, Portobello and White Button and cooked mushrooms are more umami rich than raw.

What Are The Health Benefits?

Mushrooms are perfect to eat from breakfast through to dinner, with and without meat.  And if you’re not convinced to include them in your meals from the delicious addition they’ll make, then why not include them for the health benefits they offer.

They are a superfood which fit into every diet and type of cuisine. 

Did you know they are the only natural source of Vitamin D you’ll find in your produce.  They are fat free and low calorie but nutrient dense.  Rich in selenium and B vitamins.  There are studies showing they help with immunity and Shiitake in particular are widely referred to as “medicinal mushrooms”. 

In Conclusion 

If you haven’t – take the plunge and try some exotics now, you won’t be disappointed!! Because we love all the different mushrooms here at The Meat Box because we know how important each different one is for cooking, everybody has a favourite one, or recipes might require a certain type. This is why we tried to make it as convienet as possible for people to get great quality mushrooms delivered to their homes. We work with a NZ local grower who helps us provide us with a varity of excellent quality mushrooms packaged in a eco package so that we can deliver your favourite ones across NZ with our premium Auckland Delivery Service and NZ Delivery Service.


 Enjoy our favourite Mushroom Recipe - Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce Recipe

Prep Time:

15 mins

Cook Time:

20 mins


6 Servings


4 tablespoons (57 grams) butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

453 grams mushrooms, thinly sliced, such as crimini or baby bella

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

453 grams rigatoni pasta, cooked according to instructions, drained

¼ cup minced chives

2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Cooking Instructions
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

  2. Add the wine and reduce heat to medium- low until the wine has reduced by more than half, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add the stock and continue cooking until reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes.

  4. Slowly stir in the cream and Parmesan until combined. Cook until the sauce comes together and thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, another 2-3 minutes.

  5. Stir in the pasta, chives, parsley, salt and pepper.