A Saucy Mushroom & Green Pepper Rotini Pasta... so... so good!

I have BREAKING NEWS today!  There is a very high chance I may be going to the Shakira concert tomorrow at Madison Square Garden, NYC.  It's kinda up in the air, but I'm like 99% sure that I'm going.  My plus one will be my friend, Marian.  We're both die hard Shakira fans!  I love her!  The dancing, the music, her wild curly hair, and she's so pretty.  I'm so excited.  I told my Mom that I may be going to the Shakira concert and she actually knew who she was.  My Mom asked me how much the tickets were and then proceeded to ask me if they would serve us dinner at the concert.  LOL!  I could just imagine it, singing, dancing, and eating dinner at the Shakira concert.  She was like for the amount the ticket is, they should serve you dinner.  I was like, "Who cares about dinner, I get to see Shakira?"  She didn't seem to care or agree.  Well, I'll tell you all about the concert in my next post.

So today I rushed home after work and made pasta since I had to use up my basil and Parmesan Cheese - which is still not over.  I really loved the way this pasta turned out.  My husband had 2 requests, one of which were more sauce and the other was no mushrooms.  I complied with the first request, but not the second.  C'mon, no mushrooms?!?!?  Yeah right!  I get the feeling he doesn't like mushrooms so I find sneaky ways of adding them into meals, and guess what, every time he's like, "this is so good."  So, yes to mushrooms!  This pasta is a winner!
Tell Me: What's your most favorite concert you ever attended?

NUTRITION: Mushrooms are a very good source of Vitamin B6 and Protein.  Bell Peppers are a great source of Vitamins A, B6, and C.  Cheese is a good source of Calcium and Protein.  Choose whole grain pasta which adds Fiber to this dish. 

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp (for the saute)
  • Water - enough to boil pasta
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tsp (for boiling water)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 3 cloves (chopped)
  • Onion - 1 medium (chopped)
  • Green Pepper - 1 medium/large (chopped)
  • Mushrooms - 1 8 oz. box (chop)
  • Barilla Marinara Sauce - 1 1/2 bottles (each bottle 24 oz.)
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Italian Seasoning - 1 tsp
  • Barilla Whole Grain Rotini Pasta - 1 box (1 pound)
  • Parmesan Cheese - 3/4 cup (grated)
  • Fresh Basil - 1 handful (chopped)

1. Set aside water to boil.

2. Chop the garlic and onion.

3. Heat a wok/pan on medium heat, once hot, add 1 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, add crushed red pepper flakes.

4. Once they begin to sizzle, add the garlic and onions.  Season with salt.  Stir.  Lower the heat to dial #3.

5. In the meantime, chop the green pepper... this should take about 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Add the green pepper to the onion mix.  Add salt.  Stir.

7. In the meantime, chop the mushrooms... this should take about 5 minutes.

8. Add the mushrooms to the onion-green pepper mix.  Season with salt.  Increase the heat back to dial #5 (medium heat).  Allow this to cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the mushroom changes color and the liquid evaporates.

9. In the meantime, chop the basil.  Set aside.

10. Check on the onion-green pepper-mushroom mix, this is what you want.  Notice how the water from the mushrooms evaporated. 

11. Now add the Marinara sauce, I used 1 1/2 bottles of Barilla to make a saucier pasta, you can opt to use just 1 bottle.

12. Add black pepper and Italian seasoning.  Check for salt.  Combine.

13. Cover and allow this to simmer for 10 minutes.

14. Check your boiling water, season with salt and 1 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil... this will prevent the pasta from sticking.  Stir.

15. Add pasta to the boiling water.  Allow this to cook for 10 minutes or until Al Dente.  

16. In the meantime, grate your Parmesan cheese.

17. Check on the sauce, this is what you should have.  Notice how the sauce cooked down a bit. Lower the heat to dial #2.

18. Your pasta should be done.  RESERVE a 1/2 cup of pasta water, you will need this for step #19.  Add the pasta to the sauce.

19. Combine.  You can add a little bit of the reserved starchy pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce. 

20. Add the cheese. 

21. Combine.  Adjust salt if needed.  Turn off the stove. 

22. Add basil.  Combine. 

Tell Me: What's your most favorite concert you ever attended?


  1. OMG.. my tongue is salivating. I love your step by step pictures and you make cooking seem so easy. I love your stories! Your manager sounds so mean!!!

  2. Looks good, nothing better than tomato based pasta sauces IMO.

  3. Yum! I eat pasta for practically every meal :) My favorite fall pasta dish, though, is this pumpkin and goat cheese lasagna! I made it once and I've been hooked ever since!

  4. This is a quick and easy idea for dinner but tastes like authentic Italian because of the basil.


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