1. Sauté a diced shallot (or onion or green onions if you don’t have shallots) along with some thinly sliced garlic in canola oil just until soft.
2. Add sliced mushrooms and some cut-up zucchini (or not). Sauté until softened.
3. Add cut-up tomatoes (whatever kind you have, although Roma tomatoes would be best and it would be great if you skinned them in the pasta water before you added the pasta to cook). And if you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you could of course use canned. But not tomato sauce-that just doesn’t appeal to me.
4. I usually add a splash of balsamic vinegar while this mess of stuff is cooking. Just because it tastes good to me.
5. Definitely sprinkle some red (hot) pepper flakes to taste (my taste is to sprinkle a lot).
6. Salt. Salt. Salt. At each step. Just a tiny bit. Taste. Add freshly ground pepper, although I might leave that to last and grind the pepper over the dish since I really love the smell of freshly ground pepper.
7. I then add whatever cooked pasta I’m using (any shape you like). Don’t toss out the pasta water until you’re sure the dish is sauce-y enough because pasta water has starch in it from the pasta and it will help to keep the sauce thick enough to coat the pasta.
8. I will usually plate and then drizzle a little really good olive oil over the dish.
9. You all would probably add some grated cheese, but I don’t eat cheese, so no cheese here. But go for it if you like cheese.
You could also add cooked ground turkey or beef. You could add sausages or cooked leftover chicken. This would also be good over polenta, rice, baked potato or, if you’re really in a pinch, toast!