Pasta Italiano

Ingredients

12oz wholemeal pasta - spirals are a good shape for this
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 large courgette
4oz mushrooms
2 14oz tins chopped plum tomatoes
3 fl oz red grape juice or red wine
1 dessert spoon olive or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 large cloves garlic
2 dessert spoons creamed basil, or 1 dessert spoon of dried
1 dessert spoon dried oregano
3oz grated veggie or vegan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil.
  2. Add a teaspoon of oil to the water to prevent the pasta sticking together.
  3. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al denté - i.e. not too soft, retaining a little “bite”.
  4. When cooked, drain in a colander and refresh with cold water.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, peel and chop the onion and add to the pan.
  6. Sauté over a low to medium heat until the onion is transparent.
  7. Peel and crush the garlic, top, tail, deseed and cut the peppers into strips, top, tail and cut the courgette into chunks, wipe and slice the mushrooms, and add to the pan along with the basil and oregano.
  8. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes.
  9. Add the tinned tomatoes, puree and juice or wine.
  10. Cook for about 10 minutes, over a gentle heat, being careful not to over-cook the veg.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Meanwhile, oil a large oven-proof dish.
  13. Transfer the pasta to the dish and pour over the tomato sauce.
  14. Cover with tin foil and bake in a pre-heated oven, gas Mark 6/400°F/200°C until warmed through.
  15. Test after approximately 25 minutes.
  16. If using vegetarian cheese, when the food is warm enough, remove from oven and sprinkle with grated cheese and return to the oven without the foil until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.
  17. If using vegan cheese, it is better to allow less cooking time after sprinkling it on as most vegan cheeses have a tendency to harden if over-cooked.
  18. Remove and serve with a crisp green salad.

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