pasta with mushroom & rosemary meat sauce

It’s no secret that I love Fall.  Every single thing about it actually.

I love crisp, cool days with scarves, boots and jackets.  I love warm, cozy soups and stews.  I love candles and early darkness and alltheholidays.  I just love it.

In my world, pasta and Fall go hand in hand.  Especially, hearty, meaty, cozy pastas that fill your belly and warm you to the toes.

The kind you top with lots of yummy cheese and sop up with crusty, garlicky bread.  The kind you go to bed dreaming about and can’t wait to reheat for lunch the next day.

The kind that makes you love Fall too…  even if you don’t.

This is one of those pastas.

pasta with mushroom and rosemary meat sauce | Sweet Anna's

Rosemary and mushrooms are a perfect pairing.  The piney, woodsy rosemary and the hearty, flavorful mushrooms fill the senses with all sorts of good things.

And a little kick of heat in the background is never a bad thing!

We like this sauce over short noodles, like penne or rotini, but please use your favorite.

Just make sure you light a candle and pour yourself a little glass of wine to go with this dish.  Everything tastes better by candlelight.

And you know what?  You deserve it.

pasta with mushroom & rosemary meat sauce


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 large jar or can (24-28oz) crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


In a large saucepan or dutch oven, brown the meat, drain it and set aside.

In the same pan, in the little olive oil, sauté the onions and carrot over medium-high heat until soft and just barely golden, around 5-10 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms and sauté until they are starting to brown.

Stir in the garlic and rosemary and sauté for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic is very fragrant.

Stir in the meat, tomatoes, salt & pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes if using. Bring to a boil, taste for seasoning (adjust as necessary - more salt? more rosemary? more spice??), reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or as long as you have.

This is a great sauce to dump into the slow cooker for dinner. Or to freeze and reheat another day for an easy meal!

Serve over your favorite noodles with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top if you'd like and a bit more chopped fresh rosemary if you have it.

low carb stuffed mushroom pasta

Stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite things.

Ok, actually mushrooms in any form are some of my favorite things.

So, really, I’m kind of surprised at myself for taking so long to come up with this pasta version of my favorite italian restaurant appetizer!

Low-Carb Stuffed Mushroom Pasta | Sweet Anna's

Sometimes I feel like I could be happy eating pasta every day for the rest of my life.  I don’t think I would ever get tired of it.  And I never get bored with coming up with new ways to satisfy my pasta cravings.

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low carb jalapeño popper mac and cheese

Jalapeño poppers + mac & cheese?  All in one dish?  And even low carb if you want it to be?!

I think I may have just died and gone to heaven.

Jalapeño poppers are one of my guilty pleasures.  I could eat them every day, and sometimes I kind of do, by making my Jalapeño Popper Dip or Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches way more often than I should.

My waistline doesn’t thank me for those splurges though, so I was excited to find a way to make this treat low-carb, which fits into my lifestyle (and my waistline!) much better!

I have been enjoying the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle lately and using low-carb noodles such as Dreamfields (and leaving off the bread crumb topping!) keep this meal very low carb (making it an “S” for you THMers reading this).  So satisfying!

(No, I don’t eat low carb 100% of the time.  That is the beauty of THM, but I won’t go into that right now.  This is not an advertisement!)

If you like Jalapeño Poppers, I can pretty much guarantee that you will like this.

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baked jalapeño popper mac & cheese

Sometimes I am amazed that I even remember to brush my teeth, considering the chaotic state of my mind these days.

I can barely put 2 and 2 together it seems, and I am sure missing having a brain.  I feel kinda like the scarecrow right now, ya know?

Anyways, I had a burst of cooking-energy this afternoon….

But I realized I was afraid to move much beyond things I can make in my (non-existent) sleep.   Which is why I just keep making brownies and mac & cheeses.  I know I can’t mess up if I’m making those!  :o)

This is a super easy mac & cheese…  meaning, no stovetop cooking (except for the noodles) - just some tossing together, pouring and baking in the oven!

One of our all-time favorite mac & cheese recipes is my Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese.

I started thinking about what other favorite foods I could turn into mac & cheese and Jalapeño Poppers was the obvious next choice.

I also have a Low-Carb version of this Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese, if that’s your thing!  SO so good!

baked jalapeño popper mac & cheese


  • for the topping:
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (or mexican blend)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • for the mac & cheese:
  • 1 lb penne or other short pasta
  • 2 cups diced pepper jack cheese
  • 1 (8oz) block cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (or mexican blend)
  • 2-3 large jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups milk


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13" baking dish or a 12" cast-iron skillet and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients and set aside.

Cook the noodles according to package directions, draining them about a minute before they are done.

Combine the noodles, cheeses, butter & jalapeños, stirring well to melt the cream cheese. Dump this into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the noodles and cheese in the dish.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden & bubbly!

pasta with roasted winter veggies & browned butter

Our favorite little local farm store sells big grab bags of root veggies for roasting.  It’s so much fun to get a variety of things we might not normally try and everything tastes so great roasted together!

This last bag had carrots, purple and russet potatoes, red and golden beets and what I think are parsnips.  :o)   I added a big red onion and some garlic cloves and tossed it all in a good dose of garlic infused and regular olive oils, salt & pepper, and a bunch of dried herbs – basil, oregano & parsley.

Let me just tell ya…  from the minute this was put in the oven, the whole house smelled amazing!

Because I am a pasta addict, I decided to boil some penne and make a simple browned butter sauce to toss it all together with.  So simple, so easy, and absolutely packed full of flavor.

(Please, please serve this with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.  I was out but it would be amazing!!)

 (Please excuse this crappy iPhone picture.  I was hungry and Maren was crying!)

pasta with roasted winter veggies & browned butter


  • 5 lbs, or so, root veggies, variety /9carrots, potatoes, parsnips, beets...)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed or whole
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil, optional
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon, or so, dried herbs (parsley, basil & oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • freshly shaved parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Cut all the veggies and onion into large bite-sized pieces. Place all the veggies and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oils, herbs and salt & pepper to taste. Toss well with your hands to make sure everything is coated.

Place on the second to top rack in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, until all the veggies are tender and golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the veggies are roasting, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the noodles according to package directions.

While the water is boiling, melt a stick of butter in a large skillet (preferably light colored interior, but not necessary!) over medium heat.

Continue to cook, swirling occasionally until the butter starts to foam and then turn golden. Watch closely at this point, as it can burn easily. As soon as the butter looks golden (here's where the light-colored skillet helps!) and smells very fragrant, pull it off the heat.

Toss everything together in a large bowl or in the now drained pot and serve with freshly shaved parmesan cheese if desired!