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Whole-Grain Spaghetti with Veggi-fied Meat Sauce

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen

Hands-on time 34 mins
Total time 34 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 3/4 cup pasta, 1 cup sauce, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese)

If you're trying to go from a refined-carb spaghetti dinner to a balanced-carb version, try whole-grain pasta instead of whole-wheat pasta. It's an easier sell to your family, tasting milder than the latter.


  • 6 ounces whole-grain spaghetti (such as Barilla)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 ounces 93% lean ground beef
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 324
  • fat 6.8 g
  • satfat 2.3 g
  • monofat 1.9 g
  • polyfat 0.3 g
  • protein 25 g
  • carbohydrate 43 g
  • fiber 6 g
  • cholesterol 38 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 524 mg
  • calcium 90 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, and keep warm.

  2. While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, beef, and garlic; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble beef. Add zucchini and mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Place tomatoes in a mini food processor; pulse 4 times or until almost smooth. Add tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in salt and black pepper. Serve sauce over pasta; top with cheese.