Is there anything better than a huge heaping bowl of pasta? Correct answer: cookies. But let’s pretend we’ve never had cookies for dinner, okay? While we’re busy not eating cookies for dinner, we should probably be adults and load it up with veggies. The extra bonus to that, is you end up with an extra huge bowl of pasta, yessss.
This is pretty much a re-hash of my very under appreciated mostly veggie pasta. Granted, this was one of my very, very first recipes ever, but it’s SO delicious. I originally used a jar of organic marinara sauce that I doctored up with wine and extra herbs, but I figured I’d go the extra mile and use actual tomatoes. It’s something that Josh requests often and I’m inclined to make it, because helloooo veggies. With the minimal amount of actual pasta in this and the crazy amount of veggies, you’re basically eating a big bowl of healthy goodness. But the extra winey sauce makes it feel naughty.
Did I just call food naughty? Ugh, I’m a weirdo. On that topic — anyone else hate when people call food “skinny” or “guiltless”? As if you should ever feel guilty about eating food (even if it’s especially decadent or has shitty ingredients — just call it a splurge and move on with your life) or that eating one particular food will make you skinny. Haaaaaate it. Plus, that terminology is so common that I find those words slipping out of my mouth sometimes (and I basically smack myself across the face every time). Any one else have food descriptors they hate? (But enough about hate, let’s focus on love. Love of pasta, love of veggies, and love of wine. Both in your pasta and in a glass next to it)
5 c tomatoes, chopped and divided or 3 cans diced tomatoes (see note)
1 vegetarian bratwurst or sausage (or regular, as long as it’s fully cooked), optional
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
½ c red wine
½ tbsp. dried basil (can sub in fresh)
1 tsp dried oregano (can sub in fresh)
1 c whole wheat pasta shells, uncooked
Chop all of your veggies and the bratwurst into roughly the same size as the pasta shells. I peel about half of the zucchini and squash.
Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil, spritz with nonstick spray, or line with water. Add the garlic, pepper, and onion and sauté until soft. Adding additional oil or water as needed.
Add the zucchini, squash, and bratwurst and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and 3 cups of the tomatoes. Let cook while the tomatoes break down a little.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor pulse the remaining 2 cups of tomatoes and add to the pan. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the pasta. Cover and cook until pasta is cooked through (mine took about 6 minutes, consult your pasta box).
Serve immediately (letting it simmer longer will overcook your pasta). Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
Nutritional estimate uses Tofurky brand Kielbasa and does not include any olive oil for cooking. Sauce will look a little thin before you add the pasta — if your tomatoes were exceptionally liquidy, increase the amount of dry pasta to soak up some extra fluid or don’t add all of the juices from the tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes, add 2 cans (drained) to the pan and blend 1 can (undrained). I haven’t tested gluten free pasta with this recipe.