Spaghetti with garlic parmesan mushrooms is a healthy and delicious take on the Italian classic spaghetti aglio-e-olio but loaded with colored bell peppers and garlic parmesan mushroom to turn Meatless Monday dinners into meals you actually look forward to!
Every time I think of spaghetti, I am reminded of Marie, the tiny little gorgeous Italian ma to the original Mr.Funny Bones, Raymond. Spaghetti has the power to magically transport me to a quaint little Italian village with pink bougainvilleas hanging over tiny old, weathered house. And there would be a wonderful (albeit cranky and somewhat scary) nona hovering in the background, grating parmesan over steaming bowls of spaghetti and telling me to “eat, eat , you are all bones”! Hey a girl can dream of being called all bones, can’t she?? 😛
Anyways meatless Mondays are the least favorite dinners at my home, especially since its meatless. I always try a little hard to make these tedious dinners delicious for my family. Given that its a weeknight, and I don’t really have the stamina to spend more than 30 mins in the kitchen, dishes like this tend to feel more like a Godsend! Its easy, extremely versatile, ready in a jiffy and devoured silently by the dude of the house too, which on meatless nights is really a thing of wonder.
In stead of a basic aglio-e-olio, in this version I jazzed it up with some colored bell peppers and these garlic parmesan mushrooms which take the whole dish to another level. P, who isn’t even fond of mushrooms(I know.. weirdo, that one!!) ate his serving silently and went in for seconds! The addition of extra virgin olive oil, copious amounts of garlic and red chillie flakes which are the key to a good aglio -e-olio (garlic and olive oil) form the base of this, but then I add a couple of tablespoons of good quality passata (tomato sauce) to make it a little more saucy and give the spaghetti something to cling on to. You can of course omit the passata and stick to the basic aglio-e-olio recipe. Its delicious either ways. Just don’t skimp on the aglio or the olio 😛
With every forkful of this spaghetti with mushrooms that you twirl, your mouth will start watering at the flavor and aroma of this simple dish. Rustic, clean, healthy and perfect for easy dinners this one will make its way into your collective hearts and recipe books. Hope you enjoy the Meatless Mondays as much we do now, with this gorgeous platter straight from the Sicilian by lanes!
Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that this is the original way of making Sicilian pasta. This is aglio-e-olio with my own spin on it. This post doesn’t mean to offend any Italian nona or anyone else and is aimed at simply sharing a delicious dish. Hope you enjoy it as well
- Spaghetti - handful per person
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
- Garlic cloves chopped fine - 15-16
- Red chillie flakes - 1 tsp
- Parsley chopped- 2 tbsp
- Red bell pepper - ½ chopped into fine dice
- Yellow bell pepper - ½ chopped into fine dice
- Cherry tomatoes - 10, cut into halves
- Passata or tomato sauce - 2 tbsp
- Salt - acc to taste
- Mixed Herbs - 1 tbsp
- For the garlic parmesan mushroom:
- Buttom or mixed mushroom - 1 packet or 200 gms
- Garlic cloves 4, sliced thin
- Butter - 2 tbsp
- Extra virgin olive oil -1 tbsp
- Parmesan - 3 tbsp
- Salt & pepper - acc to taste
- Start by boiling the spaghetti in ample salted water as per directions. Once done, drain, rinse under cold water, drizzle some olive oil and toss. Keep aside.
- While the pasta is boiling, make the garlic parmesan mushroom.
- Clean and dry the mushrooms, slice them thin and heat a skillet. Add the butter and olive oil, Once hot, add the mushroom slices, garlic pods, (do not crowd them) and cook it for 7-8 mins till they turn brown. When almost done,add salt & pepper over it. Sprinkle with the parmesan and keep aside.
- Get started on the veggies next. In a skillet add the EVOO, the chopped garlic, make sure the garlic doesn't brown , add the red chillie flakes and saute for 30 secs. Next add the bell pepper and the halved cherry tomatoes, mixed herbs and saute for 2 mins till soft.
- Next add the passata and cook for 3-4 mins till the sauce is deep and cooked well.
- Simply throw in the spaghetti, with about 2-3 tbsp of the reserved pasta water ( ALWAYS reserve some pasta water before draining it), and cook on high heat till the water evaporates and the sauce clings to the pasta.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkling of chopped parsely and a squeeze of lemon juice(optional).. (I didn't add, but P did and said it tasted good too).