Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Oyster Mushroom in Puttanesca Sauce

Not only pasta but also meat and vegetables can be served with Puttanesca sauce and oyster mushrooms – also known as Pleurotus ostreatus – are just perfect as they have such a fleshy texture. Oyster Mushrooms are some of the most common types cultivated the world over, you should find them quite easily at the supermarket.Puttanesca Sauce is recognised as a Neapolitan sauce made with few ingredients: tomato, garlic, capers, black olives, oregano.

Puttanesca Sauce actually has two versions, in fact its origin is disputed between Lazio and Campania. In Lazio they put anchovy fillets while in Campania they are not expected.

Oregano or Parsley? Campania says oregano, Lazio calls for parsley. Just choose what you like.

Serves 4, Preparation 10 mins, Cooking approx. 15-20 mins

  • Oyster Mushrooms: 300 g
  • Tomato sauce or cherry tomatoes (better if a bit ripe) : 250 g
  • Black pitted olives: 50 g
  • Capers, desalted: 25 g
  • (optional) Chili pepper: 1
  • Anchovy fillets, in olive oil: 3
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Oregano, dried: 1 tbsp or a minced parsley sprig
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste


How to clean Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms usually grow on wood, so they probably haven’t been in contact with dirt, anyway they are mushrooms and this means try not to wash them, only gently clean with a damp cloth. At least you can rinse them but very quickly as they absorbe so much water that then they will give you back while cooking and you’ll have boiled mushrooms not very tasty.

Cut oyster mushrooms into thin slice by leaving some of them whole.
Ditto for black olives. Drain capers and pat them dry with some kitchen paper as for the anchovy fillets. Peel the garlic.

Brown garlic cloves in 2 tbsp of Evoo along with chilli pepper for a couple of mins. Add black olives, anchovy fillets by letting them melt a bit, then add oyster mushrooms and let them cook for about 5 mins. Add tomato sauce, capers and oregano (or minced parsley) and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 10-15 mins over low heat.

Tip: If you use fresh cherry tomatoes halve them or cut in 4/4, but try also to leave them whole, with the heat they will wither slowly. Add and cook fresh tomatoes before adding mushrooms.

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