Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Veg-tastic Spaghetti

Originally uploaded by snarkmeister
I had a bag of mushrooms and a red bell pepper that really needed to get used up before we went to Monterey for the weekend, so I threw together a sweet, spicy, smokey spaghetti sauce (how's that for alliteration?) the other night. It's got some unusual ingredients, but it all blended well together, and Mr Wonderful gave this two thumbs up. The high veggie content makes this a natural choice for Sweetnicks' ARF/5-a-day roundup.

Veg-tastic Spaghetti
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 onion, diced
2 c chopped mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (35 oz/2 lb) whole, peeled tomatoes - I chopped them up fairly small but you could puree it in the food processor or just crush them with your wooden spoon; however you like the consistency of your spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta (half a box)
salt & pepper
parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Throw in the onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper and saute until veggies are soft and mushrooms begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for just a minute more; don't let the garlic burn! Season with salt & pepper, then add the tomatoes and any juice from the can. Add all the herbs and spices, and let the sauce simmer for at least fifteen minutes, until all the flavors blend together.

Boil the pasta according to the package directions, drain, and serve with the spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on top, if you like.

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