My dish for FF8 is rigatoni pasta in a mushroom and spinach tomato cream sauce. There are a bunch of other ingredients in the sauce, but I didn’t think “Rigatoni with Onion, Bell Pepper, Garlic, Mushroom, Pancetta, Tomato, Cream, and Wine Sauce” had a nice ring to it. Anyhow, I thought I’d bring a nice creamy, carb-loaded dish to the party since people are starting to think I’m super healthy with my avocado, chia, and green smoothie recipes. I wish I made healthier food choices all the time, but alas, my tastebuds lean toward fatty, deep-fried, and sugary. Terrible, I know. But oh so satisfying! 😉
Now here’s my recipe. Please feel free to add, omit, and substitute to your heart’s content. If you want a vegetarian version, simply leave out the pancetta. Don’t have any pancetta? Use some bacon. Don’t have bacon? Use Italian sausage. (Which is really great and how I originally made this pasta sauce.) The key to this sauce is taking the time to cook everything down, down, down. This process allows the flavors to intensify and blend together. So take your time, sip some wine, and stir away!
Rigatoni with Mushroom and Spinach Tomato Cream Sauce
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 package baby spinach
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 8 oz. pancetta, chopped
- 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese
- 16 oz. rigatoni
Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms on medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, or until softened and slightly caramelized. (The amount of veggies will seem like a lot, but they will cook down a great deal.) Add the pancetta and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cream and let simmer 10-15 minutes, or until the cream has reduced and thickened. Stir in the red wine and crushed tomatoes and simmer an additional 15-20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. I salt this sauce at the end since everything cooks down and you don’t want it to be overly salty, especially if you had it perfectly seasoned at the start.
Meanwhile cook the rigatoni according to package instructions. One minute before the rigatoni is done, remove the tomato cream sauce from the heat and gently fold in the spinach. Drain the pasta well and add it to the pot. The residual heat from the sauce and pasta will be enough to wilt the spinach.
Top with shaved parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Now for a couple of cell phone pullbacks of my shooting set-up: