Marinara pasta sauce with whole mushrooms

I wasn't feeling particularly fabulous this morning. Nothing serious, just this weird feeling of waking up exhausted and groggy. I guess the rainy and grey weather didn't help, too. So I munched on some crispy oat cookies and played a lot of The Sims 2 :) When my eyes started to get blurry of all this video gaming and computer work, I went for a refreshing bicycle ride. Usually I spot some wild animals, but not this time. I guess it's just too early, they are more active during the sunset. Just one day I saw this deer family and of course rabbits and foxes are regulars here. Yesterday I looked outside and there was our familiar fluffy squirrel eating loads of nuts in our hazelnut tree. Can this creature be any cuter? Never a boring moment living in the forest!

After my bike ride, I made us noodle soup and sat behind the computer to write down this delicious new recipe for you. I've been into one pot pastas lately, since they are so easy to make in our cabin's kitchen and they heat up so well. But sometimes you just want a separate sauce. Marinara is always a classic choice and you really can't go wrong with that. Only if you make it too sour. If there's one vegan food I truly can't eat, it's the sauces that are too sour. So I always add enough sweetener to balance it out. Coconut palm sugar or any unrefined sugar is a good choice here. Good marinara also has a subtle taste of different herbs. I used dried thyme and basil and they were perfect. I also added some paprika powder to get this beautiful deep red color. 

But why whole mushrooms? They are just so much fun. No chopping needed, just throw them in a pan and they will soak in all the delicious marinara flavors. Plus they look a little like meatballs. This sauce is wonderful when reheated. So if you are in a hurry, keep it in the fridge for a day or two and then heat it up when it's lunch or dinner time. Serve it with your favorite pasta, it can be gluten-free, too. I used tagliatelle this time. If you have more time, you can make your very own pasta from scratch without a pasta machine! And if you are really into red pasta sauces, definitely try this super filling almond Bolognese.

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Happy cooking and let me know how you liked the sauce :)

Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Serves: 3 - 4 people

  • 2 - 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 - 3 onions
  • 8 oz / 250 g fresh white mushrooms
  • ½ tsp salt + 1 tsp later
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ heaping Tbsp (unrefined) sugar
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • ½ cup / 120 ml water
  • 2 cups / 500 g passata tomato sauce (unseasoned) 
  • (chili to taste)

+ pasta for serving (8 oz / 250 g uncooked pasta should be enough)

Heat up a deeper pan. Add oil and chopped onions. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the onions are light golden brown. Add whole mushrooms (remove the stems if you want) and half a teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add thinly chopped garlic cloves. Cook for a minute. Add paprika powder, basil, thyme, sugar and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add water and let it simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Add tomato sauce and rest of the salt. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Serve with freshly boiled pasta or keep in the fridge.