Lightened Up Marsala Veggie Pasta

This Lightened Up Marsala Veggie Pasta is a really nice twist from a boring marinara. As with traditional marsala sauce, the mushrooms are the star of this dish. I left out butter and cream, but instead, added depth of flavor with fresh garlic, rosemary and oregano. The fullness factor is kicked up with extra veggies and a wheat penne. Dust with a little ground black pepper and parmesan for a truly satisfying bowl of yum, or leave out the parmesan for a fully vegan option.

Lightened Up Marsala Veggie Pasta

Lightened Up Marsala Veggie Pasta

Lightened Up Marsala Veggie Pasta highlights beautiful marsala wine with juicy mushrooms and crunchy kale. Instead of butter and cream, fresh garlic, rosemary and oregano bring the flavors home.
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Servings 8


  • 1 box whole wheat or chickpea penne , prepared according to package
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 whole onion , sliced thin
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms , sliced
  • 1 cup marsala cooking wine
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary leaves , chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oregano leaves , chopped
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 bell pepper , sliced thin
  • 2 zucchini squash , sliced thin
  • 3 cups chopped kale leaves , large stems removed
  • 1 can cannellini beans , rinsed and drained
  • black pepper and grated parmesan , optional garnish


  • Cook penne according to package, drain, and set aside. In large saute pan or wok, heat oil over medium-low. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are very soft, and drain their liquid, about 10 minutes. Whisk marsala with tomato paste, honey, and balsamic. Add to pan along with fresh and dried spices. Simmer over low 7 minutes (uncovered so alcohol escapes).
  • Whisk flour into broth. Add to pan along with remaining veggies. Simmer over low, covered, 5 minutes. Toss in pasta and beans. Serve topped with black pepper and sprinkle of parmesan.
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