Using a big and wide saucepan boil about 4 liter of water and add a stock cube for an enhanced flavour.
When the water starts boiling, add the pasta. The water volume should be at least twice the volume of pasta. Stir occasionally to avoid the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Cook according to the packet for al Dante.
Drain off the water and add the pasta to the sauce.You can keep some of this water aside to add to the sauce if required later. Add the pasta in stages, if you think there is not enough sauce for the pasta then put aside the cooked pasta for a different dish (e.g., cold pasta salad).
For the Sauce. You can make extra and store the remainder in the fridge.
Heat up the oil and gently sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
Add the vegetables and sauté further. Cover and let the vegetables cook for a couple of minutes. If using chilies, add them here.
If adding the mushrooms, add the salt at the end and make the sauce just before the pasta is cooked. The mushrooms release a lot of water and if the sauce is made too early, th pasta will become watery and the mushrooms will lose their crunchiness. Another method is to add the tomatoes soon after the mushrooms are sautéed. The tomatoes arrest further cooking of the mushrooms.
Add the pesto and the other seasonings, mix well. The wine and basil can be added at this stage.
Add the puree and the tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
Always add the pasta just before serving so that the dish remains saucy and the pasta does not soak up all the liquid of the sauce.
Sprinkle the cheese for garnish and serve immediately,
Serve with a green salad.
The above recipe is for pasta with a tomato sauce.
There are many other possible variations:
Replace the tomato sauce with white sauce(with or without cheese).
Changing the pesto will also alter the taste.
The white sauce and the tomato sauces can be used with various blanched vegetables to create a tasty lasagna.
Just adding a tasty cream cheese and olive oil to freshly boiled pasta is also delicious and quick!