Save this pasta for one of those days. You know the kind. The kind when salad just won't do. Maybe you had a flat tire or got slammed with a project due "ASAP" at work. Maybe, like us, you had a 3-foot chunk of plaster crash down from your ceiling, leaving a gaping hole exposing house guts and plaster dust coating everything! This kind of day calls for a meal in a bowl, that can be eaten on the couch in front of The Daily Show if you so choose.
This chunky sauce pairs well with a sturdy pasta, such as whole wheat penne. It's full of vegetables including zucchini, poblano pepper, and carrots, with the addition of tender cannellini beans. It's filling and all the vegetables fortify you to deal with life's hassles. And many things seem more manageable after a big bowl of pasta.
Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Sunset
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
28 ounces crushed tomatoes, no salt added
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 poblano, chopped (veins, seeds, and stem discarded)
10 baby carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
15 ounces cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
8 ounces whole wheat penne
hot salt, nutritional yeast to season, optional
In a medium pot or skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes and oregano and simmer for about 15 minutes.
In a skillet (that has a lid), heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, poblano, carrots, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover skillet and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Stir once during this time. Add tomato sauce and cannellini beans and simmer about 10 minutes. Add water to thin sauce, as needed, but the sauce will be quite thick.
While sauce cooks, prepare whole wheat penne according to package directions. Drain.
Add fresh basil to sauce. Combine penne with preferred amount of sauce, and refrigerate remaining sauce. Check for seasonings. Add hot salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast as seasoning, optional.