As a child I literally only ate pasta and grilled cheese until I was seriously 15 years old. If I kept it going, I probably would have turned into a noodle. At least that’s what everyone used to tell me. I was almost impossible to take to dinner unless there was a simple pasta on the menu or a grilled cheese. Considering what I’ve turned into 15+ years later, this is really weird to me. I mean I am an equal opportunity eater nowadays, but like I said, that wasn’t always the case.
Back when I was a little munchkin I would only eat pasta with a little olive oil or butter, lots of sautéed garlic and salt. Oh and it had to be doused with a decent amount of Parmesan cheese too. It was glorious. I was a happy child. And these days I still love pasta just as much, but clearly I’ve branched out a bit and taken things up a few notches.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 10 ounces mushrooms, any variety will work, cut into thin slices
- 6 ounces spinach (optional)
- 3 roasted red bell peppers, (jarred is fine)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 10 ounces spaghetti
- Basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded or grated)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the mushrooms and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and caramelized. If you’re adding spinach, add the spinach and wilt it down. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted red bell peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar. Blend for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients become smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the sauce to the pan with the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the cooked pasta to the mushroom mixture and toss to combine. Add the reserved water if you need to thin out the sauce. Adjust salt and pepper if needed and serve and serve with freshly shredded parmesan cheese and basil leaves.