Cheesy Baked Mushroom Penne Pasta
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Cheesy Baked Mushroom Penne Pasta

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Italian
Keyword: dinner, pasta, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Author: The Familiar Kitchen

Ingredients

  • Penne Pasta, 16 oz box, cooked
  • Parmesan Cheese, 1 cup, grated
  • Mozzarella Slices, as needed
  • Parsley, finely chopped

Mushroom "Meat"

  • Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Portobello Mushrooms, 6, large, finely diced
  • Hickory Liquid Smoke (by Colgin), 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp

Pasta Sauce

  • Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Onion, 1, diced
  • Bell Pepper (any color), 1, diced
  • Jalapeno Pepper, 2, diced
  • Garlic Cloves, 6, minced
  • Diced Tomatoes, 2 cups (canned is fine)
  • Italian Seasoning Blend, 2 tbsp
  • Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp

Instructions

Make the meat.

  • In a skillet on high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the finely diced portobello mushrooms. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the mushrooms water content cooks out and they become slightly crisp. Add in the liquid smoke and the salt then mix together. Set aside.

Cook the pasta. 

  • Bring a pot of water to a rumbling boil and add about 2 tbsp of salt to the water. Once the water comes to a rumbling boil, cook the pasta according to the box instructions. I typically cook for about 7-8 minutes to get firm pasta. Immediately drain the pasta under cool water, but be sure to reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Make the tomato sauce.

  • In the same skillet on medium high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, and garlic cloves. Saute until lightly golden and soft. Now add in the diced tomatoes and mix everything together. Finally, mix in the Italian seasoning and brown sugar. Transfer the chunky sauce to a mixing bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. *Alternatively, wait until the chunky sauce has cooled down then use a blender to puree the sauce. 

Mix it all together and bake.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Now add the cooked pasta, pasta water, mushroom meat, tomato sauce, and parmesan to your pot. Toss everything together until evenly mixed. Add the pasta to a baking dish and top with the mozzarella slices and parsley. Bake just until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Done!