Lately, I have been craving noodles – a lot. Their penne rosa dish to be exact. Last week was a rough week at work, and I ended up eating out for lunch quite a bit, because I spent my nights getting extra work done instead of cooking. My mom even called to tell me I hadn’t posted “ALL MONTH” – I love her.

One of the things I ate last week when I went to lunch was noodles and as I was eating the penne rosa I thought “I can totally make this”. So, here is another one of my attempts at a copy cat recipe.


Penne Rosa

yield: 2-4 SERVINGS

prep time: 20 MINUTES

cook time: 20 MINUTES

total time: 40 MINUTES


General Ingredients:
Penne pasta – I used gemelli, it’s what I had!
Mushrooms, sliced – I used about 10 per portion
Tomato, chopped – I used 1/3 of a medium sized tomato per portion
Spinach – about a handful
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili oil
2 cloves of garlic
3 basil leaves, chopped
Extra crushed red pepper flakes – I added about another 2 teaspoons
Heavy cream
1/3 cup starchy pasta water

Ingredients for chili oil:
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of olive oil


Start with the chili oil, cook both ingredients together for about 5 minutes. Strain and place in tupperware for storage. Use 2 tablespoons (about half) of the mixture and place in a large pot. Mince the garlic and add it to the chili oil, cooking on medium heat for just a few minutes. Then add the can of tomato sauce, and the basil leaves. Stir it up and let it sit until it gets really dark in color, about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, start the pasta. At the 20 minute mark, add about 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water to the sauce and stir it again.

At this point, chop your mushrooms and tomato – however much you want of each. Add it to a small frying pan with olive oil and cook until the mushrooms have browned, set aside. Add extra red pepper flakes to the sauce, if you want them. Strain the pasta, and take the sauce off the heat.

I put all the pasta in a large bowl, and I added about 1 cup of sauce and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream per portion. I mixed it all together, added the mushrooms and tomatoes, a handful of spinach and topped with parmesan cheese. It was awesome.

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