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My best friend is going vegan and her new husband decidedly is not. He's so un-vegan that when I met him, he refused to eat anything that was green. He has since started including basil. A big step. I developed this recipe for the two of them, and since we often share Sunday night dinner with them, this really benefits Mr. English and myself just as much. You can keep it vegan by omitting the torn mozzarella, and you can make it even healthier by using whole-grain rigatoni.
All you have to do is blitz the veggies—carrot, onion, garlic, and the mushrooms, of course—in the food processor. Cook them simply in a big pan, then add store-bought tomato sauce and some dried mushrooms. Because of all the veggies in the sauce, it takes on that thick, dark, chunky texture of a beefy sauce.
Toss it with al dente rigatoni, so the sauce can get stuck inside the little tunnels of pasta. I plate it up, and tear cold fresh mozzarella over the top. If I'm feeling flush, I'll add a drizzle of truffle oil. (Everyone says you have to compromise when getting married. I always knew compromise was overrated, and in this case, completely unnecessary.)