Penne pasta with mushrooms in home made arrabiata sauce

Pasta, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, herbs, garlic, paprika, onions – sounds Italian? It sure does. Here is a recipe filled with wonderful flavors and aromas that will send your taste buds tickling, definitely wanting more. The best part is the “Oh so simple”  nature of this recipe that will help you prepare and serve it quickly whether for family or friends.

Ingredients (For 2):

Four fresh ripe medium sized tomatoes

Two pink medium sized onions

One bulb of garlic peeled

Fresh Basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (mainly parsley, basil, thyme, oregano)

1 green chilli

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon of jaggery

1/2 teaspoon of red paprika powder

1 spoon of white vinegar

200 grams penne pasta

150 grams button mushrooms sliced and diced (use as much mushroom as you want)

1 large bell pepper (red or green or yellow depending on your preference)

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Crumbled Feta Cheese

For the sauce:

Pre-heat the oven at 300 deg. centigrade. Slice the onions, tomatoes and garlic in big pieces. Sprinkle few fresh basil leaves, Italian dried herbs and olive oil over the cut onions, tomatoes and garlic. Roast in the oven for 20 – 25 min at 300 deg. centigrade until the intense heat from the oven causes the veggies to lose water and shrink like below. Roasting veggies is a fabulous method of cooking that retains the flavors, uses very less oil yet cooks the vegetables well and the browning creates a different flavor as well.

Next blend the above veggies along with one green chilli, salt, jaggery (you can use brown sugar as well), paprika and white vinegar. Paprika is dried de-seeded red chilies that have been ground. Hence it is not spicy but gives a lovely flavor of chili that is not exactly hot for the palette.  Also you wanna control the amount of vinegar since the sauce is already acidic owing to the tomatoes. Add a little water in the blender ensuring the sauce is thick enough to be spread over your pasta.

Saute the cut mushrooms and bell peppers with a little olive oil and dried herbs in a deep non stick pan. Boil about a liter of water with little salt and then add the penne pasta to it. (I prefer penne for this dish but use whichever pasta you like). Keep stirring the boiling water occasionally to avoid the pasta pieces sticking to each other. Taste a piece to check if done. Normally when the pasta is still uncooked, it is quite chewy and has a hard white line when you try to break it open.

Putting it together:

Drain the pasta in a colander under running cold water. The cold water stops the pasta from cooking further. Pour the sauce from the blender in the non-stick pan containing the sauteed mushrooms and bell peppers and bring to a boil. Serve pasta in a plate with the freshly prepared sauce over it. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and fresh basil leaves. Yum!!!

Did You know?

Tomatoes are very rich in vitamins especially Vitamin C, A, K and B-complex that are required in everyone’s diet everyday.

More on the nutrient content in the below link:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/492617-nutrition-and-vitamins-in-tomatoes/

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