Simple Velvet Pioppini & Red Sauce Recipe


By Ashley Powell

When I was a kid, spaghetti was almost always in the weekly rotation.  Low effort, makes enough to feed a family of four, AND provides plenty of left overs for later in the week. My parents worked full time and often worked late, so recipes that would generate more than one meal were a must.  In college, my mom’s recipe for spaghetti became a staple for me whenever I wanted to impress someone without putting in a whole lot of effort.

The more I cooked it, the more I tweaked the recipe and made it my own. Over the years I have added more seasonings, more garlic (you can never have too much!), and now mushrooms to the mix.  When I served this latest incarnation for dinner, I was informed that this was the BEST spaghetti I had ever made.

This recipe is one that both kids and adults will LOVE and has the added nutritional benefits of mushrooms. The rich, savory flavor of the Pioppini mushrooms adds a new element to a traditional meat sauce that will wow you.  This mushroom pairs well with most meats, though I personally use ground turkey in most of my cooking to reduce calories and fat content. It would be excellent with ground beef as well if you prefer red meat.

Now, some may call using a mix for part of your seasonings cheating, but personally I think it makes the dish MUCH easier to put together.  Even when using pre-packaged mixes, I always find that I need to doctor it up a bit, hence the additional garlic and seasonings in the recipe.  Never be afraid to play with the seasonings on this one, add or subtract depending on your own taste preferences.


  • 1 lb. Velvet Pioppini mushrooms
  • 1 ½ lb. lean ground beef or turkey
  • 3 15 oz. cans Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1 packet spaghetti sauce mix (I use Lawry's)
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz. cooked spaghetti, or another pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


Chop mushrooms to bite-sized pieces. Using a large sauce pan, sauté in the olive oil for about 5 to 7 minutes.  Set aside when done.

In the same pan, brown ground meat and drain off fat. Add the remaining ingredients except spaghetti into pan.  Simmer mixture for 20-30 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. If you do not like large tomato pieces, chop up the tomatoes into smaller pieces (I recommend this if you are serving to children).  Add the mushrooms back in to your sauce for the last 10 minutes of simmering.

While mixture is simmering, bring water to boil and cook pasta until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Spoon sauce over noodles and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Serve with garlic bread and a fresh salad to complete the meal.