Umami Mushroom Rigatoni Recipe

As astonishing as new mushrooms blooming into life have been the generous kindness of the South African public to breast cancer survivors in 2020!

Together a record amount for breast cancer survivors was raised!

Despite a pandemic, lockdowns and financial hardships in the year of Covid-19, South Africans have very generously contributed a record R692 784 for Reach for Recovery’s Ditto Project – the highest amount raised since the project’s inception in 2010.

The money comes from the Power of Pink campaign, which is the sale of fresh mushrooms in pink punnets at Pick n Pay stores every October.

R1 from each punnet goes to Reach for Recovery, which provides silicone breast prostheses to breast cancer survivors who cannot afford breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Knowing that purchasing a punnet of mushrooms can make such a big difference, we felt like sharing some of our favourite recipes making these small but versatile vegetables.

Umami Mushroom Rigatoni

Serves: 4


  • 250g rigatoni pasta (or another similar short pasta)
  • 4 large portabello mushrooms
  • 250g portabellini mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Cook rigatoni in boiling salted water, until al dente.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain pasta.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, scrape out the black gills from the underside of the portabellos with a teaspoon. Cut each portabello in half and then cut each half into four chunky wedges.
  4. Slice portabellinis into quarters.
  5. Heat oil and butter in a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  7. Add mushrooms and thyme.
  8. Cook mushrooms, tossing them often until just tender and golden brown.
  9. Pour in the soy sauce and cook until absorbed.
  10. Turn the heat down.
  11. Stir in the crème fraîche, salt, pepper, and a splash of pasta water.
  12. Add cooked pasta and toss gently to coat in the mushroom sauce.
  13. Keep adding pasta water as needed to achieve a silky, shiny sauce.
  14. Serve pasta with squeeze of fresh lemon juice and extra freshly ground black pepper.

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