As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, working on difficult and time consuming recipes, during the week it’s all about two things for me: quick and easy. If I don’t have an idea for a “weekday dinner”, ninety percent of the time I end up making some sort of a pasta dish. Today I have a quick, easy and healthy idea for you: mushroom & zucchini pasta marinara.
Not surprisingly, this pasta dish is meat free. As you guys know I’m not much of a meat-eater and have lots of love for my veggies. Luckily, my hubby likes his veggies too but probably not nearly as much as he loves chicken or steak. While I enjoyed this pasta as-is, I served his portion with some grilled chicken topped with extra marinara sauce.
You can use homemade marinara sauce for this recipe, but if you’re really short on time, you can also opt for organic marinara sauce from a jar. Marinara sauce is probably one of the easiest pasta sauces to make. To make marinara sauce, I usually heat up 2-3 gloves of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it becomes fragrant, then add a 28-once can of organic crushed tomatoes to the sauce pan, adding some salt and pepper, some oregano, few basil leaves and a bit of sugar to taste. I simmer the tomatoes for about 10 minutes and that’s it. Super easy, isn’t it? If your sauce comes out too thick or chunky, you can use an immersion blender to get that smooth, creamy texture.
Mix your veggies with garlic and olive oil
Mushroom & Zucchini Pasta Marinara
2.5 cups marinara sauce
1/2 pound dry spaghetti pasta
1 large green zucchini
2.5 cups of mushroom (I used baby bella mushroom)
sea salt, oregano, red pepper flakes & pepper to taste
3 TBS chopped parsley
2 TBS olive oil
3 gloves of garlic, finally chopped
1. First, cube your zucchini, place it in a strainer and sprinkle some salt on it. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will get excess moisture out the zucchini and prevent it from going soggy.
2. In the mean time, cook your pasta according to your package instructions. Next, slice your mushroom.
3. Heat up 2 TBS of olive oil in a sauce pan and add garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, be careful as garlic can burn very easily, make sure the heat isn’t too high. Once the garlic is ready, add the mushroom. Rinse the zucchini with cold water and pat dry. Add to mushroom, mix and cook for about 5-7 minutes until soft.
4. Once your pasta is cooked drain it and add it to a large sauce pan, pour in the marinara sauce, add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano (all to taste, adjust this to your liking, I myself love lots of pepper and oregano in this dish, sometimes even adding a splash of Tabasco) and mix well.
5. Once your veggies are ready, add them to your pasta, mix well and top off with some chopped, fresh parsley. You can also finish it off with some grated parmesan and garlic powder.
Combine your pasta wit marinara sauce, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and your favorite herbs.
You can pretty much add anything you’d like to this pasta and really adjust it to your liking. When cooking during the week, I usually stick to whatever I have in the fridge. I always have some mushroom and zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper, spinach, red onions, asparagus.. You can add any of those to your pasta.
You now know that pasta is my favorite, what’s your go-to weekday dish/recipe?