Spaghetti with Mushroom, Zucchini and Meat Sauce

I’ve talked plenty about making meals that are for the benefit of cleaning out what you left in the fridge.  This meal is exactly that.  I literally used all the remaining veggies I had and tossed them together to make a tomato based sauce.  Oddly enough, it actually tasted pretty good.

I’ve posted my own tomato sauce before, at least I think I have, and this is a slight take on that.  You can use whatever veggies you fancy.  In this case, mushrooms and zucchini.  The sauce was a bit spicy, as I added a lot of chili flakes, but you can tone it down and use none.


Serves 2-3

~1 pound of ground meat, preferably 80-90% variety
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large/2 small zucchini, diced
~10-12 shiitake mushrooms, stem removed and diced
1 22 oz can crushed tomato, without basil etc.
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of cumin
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
Pasta, your choice, cooked according to package

In a medium skillet, add ground beef.  Season with salt, pepper and cumin.  Cook ground beef over medium heat until almost completely cooked.  Strain fat in mesh colander and set aside.

Begin boiling water for pasta.  While water is boiling, heat large skillet or dutch oven over low heat.  Add garlic until fragrant, 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook about 5-7 minutes, or until soft.  Add mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes.

Add tomato sauce to pan.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, oregano and chili flakes (if using).  Stir and increase heat to medium.  Add beef and stir again.  Bring sauce to a light simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.  Top pasta with sauce, or, add pasta and sauce to pasta pot for mixing.  Top with fresh Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
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6 Responses to Spaghetti with Mushroom, Zucchini and Meat Sauce

  1. Angela says:

    It's like you made a recipe with all of my favorite things…

  2. haha. woops. I don't even like zucchini unless its cooked in small pieces and isn't crunchy. This was the perfect medium for it

  3. Angela says:

    Oh, I LOVE zucchini AND shiitake mushrooms AND ground beef. I bet you could easily work bacon into this equation, too. YUM.

  4. You can work bacon into ANYTHING!! This could be really good without the beef and instead, using pancetta or pork belly or something like that.

  5. E says:

    I'm making this tomorrow! Great recipe

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