What’s in a name, right? But “white button mushrooms” certainly sound better than funghi, or fungus. “What are we having for dinner, honey?” “Oh, just some grilled chicken with a side of fungus!” “Delicious!” Really though, they may be saying fungus, but doesn’t everything just sound better in Italian? Foon-ghee, it rolls off the tongue, causing you to purse your lips into a kiss when you pronounce the “foon” part. Leave it to the Italians to make mushrooms sexy.
I didn’t plan to make these mushrooms - sorry, funghi. I was coming home from yet another exhausting, bureaucratic wedding errand and passing by my fruit and vegetable guy, I thought, “Let me just cook something right now and I’ll feel better.” Manu jokes that, “It’s not so easy to marry an Italian man, eh? We make it hard for you American girls!” Hard indeed, starting this summer with a trip to the Secretary of State in Boston, then a jaunt to the consulate in Naples, then a stop at the marriage office in Barletta, a meeting with the Prefect in town (how Harry Potter is that?), another appointment at the marriage office and next week maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to get the document that says we can get married. After that, we’ll have to wait - there’s always waiting in Italy - and then we can sneakily get married at the town hall. Then, (are we done yet?) the real wedding can take place.
Roasted Button Mushrooms
1 small container white button mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
1 garlic clove
1 tbs parsley
Wash the mushrooms and slice off the stem where any dirt may be. Slice in half lengthwise and arrange on a roasting pan covered with parchment paper. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, whole garlic clove and parsley and mix well with your hands. Roast at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until tender. Serve as a side dish, mixed into couscous, atop the protein of your choice or all by themselves.
Needless to say, the funghi were delicious. Manu liked them too, and leaned in close to whisper, in his English, “Thank you for the mush-rooms my sweetie sweetie!” Only, he pronounced it “sweaty sweaty.” That, my friends, makes all the bureaucracy worth it.