Penne with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, and Basil

I’m excited to report about a very successful dinner I made in honor of Presto Pasta Nights! It’s quite simple actually, but I think you might enjoy it as much as I did. All it is is pasta with a makeshift sauce made out of vegetables. You can’t get more quick and easy than that!

But knowing me, there will always be some mishap along the way, so come follow along…

The problems started at the beginning. I wanted to heat up some olive oil and add garlic to form a good flavor base for my sauce. I wasn’t really thinking and wound up adding way more olive oil than necessary. It wasn’t really a problem until the next step when I added my can of whole tomatoes. The juice from the tomatoes and the olive oil never really combined well, so I had to do the best I could to remove some of the olive oil.

Caveat: At the time of cooking, I was quite overwhelmed with a lot of other things going on so the order of my steps might not make much sense. But worry not, I have corrected the recipe you’ll find below for a problem-free method of cooking this dish!

Since I added the tomatoes already, it was too late to saute the mushrooms in the olive oil and garlic, as originally intended. So I took out another pan and gave them a quick saute. I then added them to the simmering tomatoes and let them boil in the tomato sauce for the remainder of the cooking. Here’s what I had cooking:

Despite my fretting over my mushroom mishap, the sauce didn’t look half bad! I chopped up some fresh tomatoes and added them to the batch to give it a fresher flavor. Next, I chopped up some basil (from my new basil plant!) and added that in as well:

I gave my concoction a quick stir and let it simmer for the remainder of the cooking. Now all I had to do was add it to my pasta!

I like this picture because you can still see the steam rising from the hot sauce. I gave this a quick stir to even out the vegetables and decided to plate.

Some Parmesan cheese for topping, and another sprig of basil for garnish, and voila! Delicious dinner was made!

Too bad my pasta was a bit overcooked. Eep.

Happy Presto Pasta Nights! Look out for the roundup momentarily.

Penne with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, and Basil

I made this dinner out of ingredients I had in the house and it came out great! Feel free to add onion or whatever vegetables you want!


1 box penne pasta
1 16-oz. can whole tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
10-12 mushrooms, sliced or chopped (or 1 pkg. pre-sliced mushrooms)
4 sprigs basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper (and additional seasonings if desired)


Cook pasta according to directions (to al dente). Drain, run under cold water, and return dry pasta to pot.

Heat olive oil in pan. Add garlic and saute until it becomes white. Add mushrooms and saute in oil for a few minutes (they don’t have to be fully sauteed before you move on to the next step). Add can of whole tomatoes and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Halfway through, add chopped fresh tomatoes and chopped basil. After the sauce is done, season it with a few shakes of salt and pepper.

Now, pour the pan of sauce into the pot of pasta. Give it a quick stir and plate. Top with Parmesan cheese, and garnish with sprigs of basil.

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  • Ruth

    Love the post. Glad I’m not the only one who get’s ditzy and put things in the wrong order occasionally.

    One really good reason I love pasta…it’s so forgiving.

    Thanks for being a great Presto Pasta Night host. You did an amazing job!

  • Mushroom and Pasta Guy

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