Paccheri Pasta and Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

I came up with a few goals for the new year and one of them was to get out of the rut of cooking the same stuff all the time. Look for new things to try that won’t be overcomplicated and daunting. When I was shopping and spotted this pasta that I’ve never seen before, I grabbed it decided I’d make it for dinner.

I bought this imported pasta at Produce Depot in St. John, Indiana when I stopped in for a sandwich to go (and ended up filling a basket with groceries). I googled “schiaffoni” to see what I could find and was led to some recipe posts. It seems this shape is often referred to as paccheri.

I wasn’t sure what type of sauce I wanted to make. Should I do a creamy Alfredo sauce with mushrooms I had just purchased? Should it be a classic red sauce loaded up with veggies? Should I add some pesto and olive oil for a light finish and call it a day?

As I looked up some recipes, it seems these are often stuffed with ricotta and that sounds delish. But, I had no ricotta. I had bought a couple cans of imported fire-roasted diced tomatoes. I started by sautéing some shitake mushrooms, green pepper, a cipponlini onion and some minced garlic. After it had softened I added a can of the tomatoes and about a 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. After it simmered for a bit, the house smelled fantastic. 

The sauce went on top and it was sprinkled with some grated Parmesan. I tried a new kind of pasta and had a nice, light meal for dinner. Double win.