Spicy Pasta with Mushrooms

Not only is this pasta deliciously spicy, it is full of hidden vegetables! If you know me well or have read more than one recipe on Toy Kitchen Chef (hi mom!) then you know that I love my vegetables. I will eat them in basically anything, but sometimes the fun is in not knowing that you’re eating them. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that if you eat a dish that has vegetables hidden in it you will eat less all together because you’ll get full faster. I promise that you’ll hardly notice the shredded carrots that bulk this sauce up. Even if you’re not trying to find a way to put 16 different vegetables into every meal you eat (yes, I may or may not spend my free time doing this) I know you’ll enjoy them in this sauce.

Spicy Pasta with Mushrooms*

Time:  40 min   Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 28 oz can Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ½ tsp dried basil
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 10 oz mushrooms
  • pasta (1/4 lb per person)

Substitutions

  • If you don’t want this sauce to be spicy, omit the red pepper flakes or start with just ¼ tsp of them, you can always add more later
  • Carrots are optional, if you don’t have them don’t worry
  • You can use any kind of mushroom you like (button, baby bella, etc)
  • You can also add another shredded vegetable, like shredded zucchini or yellow squash.
  • I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Muir Glen canned tomatoes are worth the splurge. They are a bit more expensive but I think that you can really tell the higher quality of the tomatoes. That being said, this sauce will work with any brand of crushed tomatoes if you’re in a crunch.

*I don’t find this to be terribly spicy but everyone has a different level of tolerance. Start with a small amount of red pepper flakes and keep tasting until it gets to the level of spice you like. Remember that the red pepper flakes will get hotter as they cook down.

Add olive oil to your large pot and bring to medium low heat. Dice your onion and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently so that the bottom doesn’t burn.

Add the tomato sauce and bring to a gentle simmer. Add your seasonings.

Wash and peel your carrots, then grate them directly into the sauce. Don’t worry, I promise that they will cook down and disappear almost completely.

Yes, those are carrots not cheese

Bring back to a simmer and cover the pot so that you don’t get red sauce splashes all over your kitchen. Wash your mushrooms well, making sure to scrub off any dirt. Slice and toss into the sauce.

Mix, cover, and let cook until mushrooms get soft. Taste sauce to see if you need any additional seasoning.

Bring a pot of water to a boil (make sure to add a pinch of salt). Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions, drain, top with sauce and enjoy!

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