Wild Mushroom Marinara Sauce

Hello, my name is Lauren, and I am a mushroom addict.

But really, I think I am addicted to mushrooms. I love how meaty they are for being a vegetable. They are juicy and hearty and so flavorful, and when cooked right, mushrooms taste good with just about everything. I must admit, though, I am a bit of a mushroom snob. I’m not a huge fan of button mushroom unless they’re on my pizza. But I love portobellos, chanterelles, shiitakes, trumpet mushrooms, and of course, truffles. That’s probably why I’ve been putting this wild mushroom marinara sauce on everything I’ve been eating lately… pasta, chicken, even fried eggs. I can’t get enough of it. It was so easy to make (and so delicious) that I would consider never buying jarred marinara sauce ever again. My inspiration came from this Bon Appetit version, and I would encourage you to try your own version, too!


4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, minced

1 small shallot, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

12 oz mixed wild mushrooms

1/2 cup chopping onion

3 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup dry white wine, I used Chateau Haut Rian from Whole Foods, which was perfect to drink alongside!

1/3 cup chopped basil

salt and pepper

salty cheese– I used feta but parmesan would work too


Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot and one of the minced garlic cloves and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring regularly, until they are soft, about 8 minutes more. Once the mushrooms are cooked through remove the mixture from the pan.

In the same pan, heat remaining 2 tbs olive oil and add sliced shallot, remaining garlic clove and sliced onion and saute again until tender, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until reduced by about 1/3, 10 minutes. Once the flavors have developed, add the mushroom mixture and chopped basil into the pan. Remove from heat, serve with pasta or chicken and sprinkle with cheese.

marinara- freshly dressed with Gotham Greens (NYC) basil- simmering away!

the finished product, doused in feta and alongside my remaining chile lime chicken


Product Review: Archer Farms Chile Lime Grilling Sauce

Let’s rewind about 5 months ago. I was applying to summer internships in the food/journalism field, and one particular job asked me to submit a few food writing samples, including a product review. I began to panic, because I had never written a product review and was in Sevilla, unable blog about anything relevant to what I had been asked.

Now, fast forward to about a month ago, when I started my internship at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. One of the benefits of working at a magazine is all the free stuff you get when companies want you to feature their product. My editor has been very generous with sharing her freebies with me, including a bottle of grilling sauce by Archer Farms. At first, I was hesitant to accept the sauce because I do not have a grill and couldn’t see myself utilizing it. But then, I began to think back to my lack of product reviews on my blog and figured this could be the perfect opportunity. I’ve already used the sauce twice as a marinade for both tofu and chicken, and I want to share with you the outcome.

I brought the grilling sauce home on a Monday, meaning it was Meatless Monday, and opted to use it as a marinade on tofu for stir fry. First, I cut the tofu into cubes and patted them dry to get rid of most of the water (tofu is like a sponge- it loves to hold on to water).

Then I let it marinate in the grilling sauce for about half an hour. It was about a quarter block of tofu and 4 tablespoons of marinade.

Meanwhile,I chopped up some peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli and corn and began to sauté them in olive oil.

I added the tofu to the hot pan and let the sauce caramelize on the cubes.

After the tofu and veggies had been cooked through, I added a little more sauce for flavor and ate it piping hot (I was starving)!

The chile lime sauce has a bit of a tangy kick (hence the name, chile lime) and its an interesting sensation eating stir fry, expecting something salty and savory, and tasting something sweet and acidic. The tofu didn’t really suck up the flavor as much as I had wanted; maybe next time I will let it marinate for longer.

A few days later, I decided to try the sauce as a marinade on chicken. This time, I let the chicken marinate for two hours. I used 4 chicken breast tenders in 4 tablespoons of sauce. Again, I sauteed the chicken and let the sauce caramelize.

I ate the chicken hot and cold, and my results were much  more successful. The sauce really soaked into the chicken, keeping it moist, spicy and flavorful. The flavors were a great accent to rice and black beans, and it really tasted like an authentic south American dish. It was such an easy and unique way to flavor your average chicken breast, and I would definitely use it again, even to impress my friends!