Lately, I’ve been exploring meatless options for a variety of reasons. I’m not a vegetarian, but I do prefer the taste and texture of veggies over meat. If I eat a lot of meat, I feel really sluggish and sleepy. In addition, meat can be bad for you, and isn’t always “harvested” in humane ways (if there is a humane way to kill animals).
But at any rate, it can still be just as yummy to go meat-free, if only for one meal a week or on an occasion. Pasta is generally something that people like to add meat to, but there are loads of alternatives, once of which I’m going to show you.
Things You’ll Need
One box of your favorite pasta (I chose multi-grain bowtie pasta).
Two bell peppers. I chose one red and one yellow one.
One pack of mushrooms, uncut.
One jar of pasta sauce. I chose organic, tomato and basil sauce.
- Bring water to a boil in a very large pot.
- Add in the entire box of pasta. (I’ve been doing make-ahead, freezer meals to take to school, so I’ve been making large quantities.) This should boil down after 30 minutes, maybe a bit less, depending on the type of pasta you’ve purchased. You can take out a piece or two every ten minutes to test the softness.
- Soak bell peppers and mushrooms in water and vinegar in the sink for about 30 minutes to remove pesticides (if they’re non-organic peppers).
- Rinse peppers and mushrooms in cold water.
- Chop peppers into long, thin strips. You can usually get around eight good strips from one pepper. If you don’t want long pepper strips, you can dice them or cut them into smaller pieces. But since we’re going meatless, I like have large chunks of pepper to make up for the lack of meatballs.
- Chop up mushrooms, caps and all, into large pieces. They’ll cook down.
- Throw just the mushrooms into a skillet with some olive oil and sear for about seven minutes until they’re browned and softer. You can sprinkle with pepper or garlic pepper if you like.
- Put the mushrooms with the entire jar of pasta sauce in the same skillet. If you like extremely saucy pasta, you might add a half a cup of water because you’re cooking an entire box of pasta.
- Cook the sauce and mushrooms together for five to ten minutes on a very low heat. You want the mushrooms to be soft.
- In another skillet, sear the peppers with a bit of olive oil. This should take around ten minutes. They might brown on the edges before getting very soft, so flip and stir them frequently.
- Take your pasta sauce out of the skillet and add to the noodles. Then stir in peppers.
This recipe uses large chunks of peppers and mushrooms to punch up the consistency. Having soft pasta is yummy, but it adds an extra something when you put in the peppers and mushrooms. There’s something there to chew; you don’t miss meatballs or sausages.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
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