Tuesday, September 24, 2013

{Recipe} Mushroom and Zucchini Penne with Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce + a giveaway!

I received a sampler of Daregal Gourmet fresh frozen herbs to review as a part of a Blog Friendly PR campaign. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received.

I've gotten to the point that I can't seem to follow recipes exactly anymore. In fact, I've started playing around with combinations and flavors to create fun new dishes for my family. It keeps dinner interesting!

This is one of our new meals. I've made it a couple of times, and love the way the flavors play together, along with the fact that my kiddos eat it! I've also just discovered Daregal Fresh Frozen Herbs. I love, love, love working fresh herbs into my dishes because it adds so much flavor, but hardly any calories. It's takes dinner to the next level. Unfortunately, I have a hard time rationalizing the cost of fresh herbs as they are pricey and I can't use them before they go bad. When Daregal asked me to try their fresh herbs that are flash frozen in a bottle that lets you shake out exactly the amount needed, I thought it was a great way to keep from wasting money, but still turn delicious dishes out of my kitchen. Sure enough! It streamlined dinner prep and the extra herbs are sitting in my freezer with no rush to use them before they turn. Brilliant!

Want to see how I use them in our Mushroom and Zucchini Penne with Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce? I thought you'd never ask!
Lemon Peel, Basil, Mint, Dill, and Parsley

Don't let the ingredient list overwhelm you. It's pretty easy to put together and the pay off is SO tasty!

Rinse your cherry tomatoes and zucchini. Slice the zucchini and toss the veggies with a little drizzle of olive oil. Pop in the oven on broil for about 10 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes start to brown.

Meanwhile, add a drizzle of olive oil to your pot. When it's hot, add your chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook over medium for 3-4 minutes or until the onions start to soften.

Add the chopped mushrooms to the pot, and continue to cook over medium for another 5 minutes.

Add both cans of tomatoes.

And the parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together, turn the heat to low, and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer the better!

As soon as your veggies are roasted, add those to the pot of sauce. You want it to simmer together with everything else.

At the very end of your simmering, boil the penne until al dente. When you drain it, make sure you reserve about a cup of pasta water in case you need it later on.

While the pasta is boiling, turn off your brain for this next step. Don't think. Just pour. Calories don't exist in this space. Seriously, if you want the rest of the recipe, you have to play by my rules. Ready? When your sauce is done simmering, add the heavy whipping cream. Trust me on this one. It makes it soooo good!

Stir the whipping cream in and you'll watch your sauce turn almost orange with a delicious, thick consistency. If it is too thick, you can certainly add up to one cup of reserved pasta water to thin it out slightly.

This recipe makes a big batch of sauce. I get enough for two meals from it. Ladle the sauce into the pot with the pasta, and toss to coat. Freeze the rest of the sauce for a quick dinner another night. Between the roasted veggies and the fresh frozen herbs that make the sauce quick and easy to throw together, this meal is a new favorite at our house! Interested in trying the herbs I used in this recipe? You can pick them up on Amazon or in the Northeast at Stop n Shop, Giant Landover, and Shaws!

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve with fresh garlic bread made with the same fresh frozen herbs. Perfection!

Mushroom and Zucchini Penne with Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce
Serves 6-8
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 8oz Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (28oz) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can (28oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Zucchini, Sliced
  • 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Daregal Fresh Frozen Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Daregal Fresh Frozen Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to Taste
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • Parmesan Cheese for Garnish
1. Broil sliced zucchini and cherry tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes or until they start to brown.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook over medium for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms to pot. Continue to cook over medium for 5 minutes.
4. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir through and simmer over low for at least 20 minutes (longer is better!)
5. Add the broiled veggies as soon as they come out of the over to the simmering sauce.
6. Add whipping cream, stir through.
7. Ladle hot cream sauce over fresh pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve with garlic bread.

Oh, by the way, you not only get a recipe in the post, you also get a chance to win your own Daregal Gourmet Herb Sampler!

All you have to do is enter below for your chance to win! The first two tasks are not optional and must be completed to qualify for this giveaway. The additional entry tasks are optional. Winning entries will be validated prior to announcing the winner with an alternate drawn if the entries cannot be verified.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest ends at 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 1st. The winner(s) will be randomly chosen and contacted by email on Wednesday, October 2nd. The winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email with their information so that the prize can be forwarded to them. A Beautiful Ruckus is not responsible for the delivery of the prize and is not responsible if the sponsor does not deliver. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States. A Beautiful Ruckus received a complimentary Daregal Gourmet Herb Sampler in exchange for hosting this giveaway. No other compensation was provided. This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.


  1. This looks amazing! My favorite way to use herbs is a recipe my mom gave me for cilantro salsa - I just looooove cilantro! That stuff is amazing on everything from avocados to spaghetti, to baked chicken...yum!

  2. I use a lot of herbs in my sweet and sour chicken recipe.

  3. Looks delicious. I want to try this. I just wish I had the recipe a month ago when we had fresh tomatos and zucchini.

  4. i love pesto and fresh salsa - so i love fresh basil and cilantro!! and rustie d - i'd love the recipe for the cilantro salsa!! sounds delish!!

  5. I like to add them to pasta sauces and mix with butter to make a nice marinade for potatoes and french bread

  6. My favorite use for herbs is in pasta sauce too. Or also in an ice cold glass of water (mint and similar herbs)

  7. This looks so yummy! Those freeze dried herbs look like fun to try too!

  8. PERFECT for tonight! My husband is finally willing to eat some meatless dinners, this will be a favorite and it likes to eat this type of thing in restaurants. I've never tried these spices or this recipe, thanks so much.

  9. I use fresh basil and cilantro in whatever recipes I can but I haven't experimented with many other fresh herbs, so this sounds like a great alternative!!

  10. Sounds delicious! Thanks for posting.

  11. I like herbs in soups, salads and pastas - almost anything!
    Cynthia Conley

  12. My favorite way to use herbs is chopped basil pesto!

  13. I love herbs on potatoes!

  14. pesto,pesto, the aroma of basil is amazing

  15. favorite way to use herbs is in the slow cooker.

  16. I usually have to follow a recipe to use herbs. My teen is the best at using herbs; she is the foodie/chef in the family.

  17. I love to use herbs in a fresh olive oil based "sauce" for pasta salad
    addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

  18. My favorite is probably in soups, but I use fresh herbs in my cooking pretty often.

  19. Your recipe looks delicious!! Thank you for sharing it on the Harvest of Friends Weekend Blog Hop!

    Have a great weekend!

  20. I use them in making my own sauces!

  21. I like to use herbs in spaghetti, chicken cacciatori, sauteed vegetables and many more of my favorite recipes.

  22. my favorite way to use herbs is on top of my homemade pizza! i also love some sprinkled in with my steamed veggies-yum! thanks for such a nice and very useful giveaway :)

  23. I use herbs in all my cooking. Adds nice flavors, and reduces need for salt. Karen G Delaney

  24. Im obsessed with pesto and I usually have my pastas overseasoned with herbs :)

  25. Cilantro in pico de gallo and other herbs in salads

  26. Your recipe sounds wonderful, and I'll have to check out the herbs I've never heard of them before.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

  27. pasta definitely, but i bake with them, put them in soups, etc

  28. My favorite way to use herbs is usually as a rub on chicken or pork but I also love to add them to sauces and dips for a little extra flavor! Thanks for such a great giveaway! Good luck to all!


  29. I love cooking with herbs. Sauces, soups, salads and chicken!

  30. I love using herbs with potatoes, chicken and garlic knots! The boys love garlic knots!
    Sam Stamp

  31. I love using herbs in homemade soups, sauces and salsa.


  32. I like using them in crock pot recipes.
    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

  33. I love using herbs everytime I make pasta and meat to season it and it also makes it look nice. I love using lots of herbs.
    Chavonne H

  34. I love using them in pasta dishes.

  35. I love to use fresh herbs in my mexican food to lighten it and make the food taste fresh.

  36. just a quick recipe question. do you freeze your pasta sauce with or without the heavy cream?

  37. i love herbs on fish joseph gersch

  38. I love using fresh herbs for fall soups, which means I better get moving on transplanting my herbs to pots before they freeze!

  39. I use lots of fresh herbs, in most everything I cook! I love to finish a wonderful dish with a sprinkling or start a delicious soup with them.

  40. I love to use herbs in sauces, on chicken, in pasta and just about anything. I love the flavors that herbs bring to a meal.
    Jessica Keeton- thedishonparenting@gmail.com

  41. I love using fresh basil on my pastas.

  42. Love to use herbs when I roast veggies, with olive oil!! YUM!!~

  43. I love using them in all kinds of food, vegan pesto is one.

  44. I discovered that I love coriander in soups and Guacamole is not Guacamole without cilantro. I also never tire of sweet basil and tomato sauce with pasta!

  45. i love to use herbs on my meat before i cook it

  46. I use herbs on roasted potatoes and in my spaghetti sauce.

  47. I use herbs in almost everything that I cook

  48. I love using herbs in my pasta sauce. It just gives it a zip!

    tridingermckee at gmail dot com

  49. I love herbs in just about everything. Great in a quick omelet or scrambled eggs.
    Thanks for the contest. Sarah

    slehan at juno dot com


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