Saturday 18 April 2015

Simple Pasta

Western dishes are so popular now that they have become part of our local cuisine. Eateries and restaurants are offering authentic pasta fare to their customers. On the personal front, I find pasta to be quite handy, especially when I get bored with the routine menu. Cooking a pasta dish need not be elaborate, with preparation of one sauce or the other. Here’s a simple dry pasta recipe that is tasty and filling. You can make this recipe for a weekend lunch and serve it with cutlets and a salad. Let's see how to make this simple pasta.

Ingredients: (Serves three)
Penne pasta – 2 teacups or 400ml measure
Mixed vegetables* – 2 teacups or 400ml measure
Onions – 1 no, sliced
Garlic – 4 pods
Basil – 1 teaspoon
Oregano – 1 teaspoon
Red chili flakes – 1-1½ tablespoon (adjust to taste)
Salt – to taste
Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
Roasted peanuts – 2 tablespoons

*You may use potato, carrot, French beans, cauliflower, capsicum and green peas in desired combinations.
Simple Pasta
Method: Boil 4 teacups (800ml) of water in a wide mouthed vessel. Add penne pasta and required salt to the boiling water. Continue to cook on medium flame till the pasta is cooked al dente (cooked, but firm to bite). Drain the hot water and run the pasta through cold water. Drain, toss with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and keep aside.

Cut the vegetables into small cubes; separate cauliflower florets; and shell the green peas. Wash the cut vegetables in running water and drain completely through a colander. Slice the onions and keep aside. Coarsely grind the roasted peanuts using a mixer-grinder and keep aside.

Heat olive oil in a kadai/wok; add the garlic pods, and fry till they turn brown. Remove the garlic pods from the oil and discard. Add onion slices and sauté till they start to turn light brown in color. Now add the cut vegetables and required salt. DO NOT add water. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetables are done. Add in red chilli flakes, basil and oregano. Mix well. Add the pasta; mix pasta and vegetables together gently; and simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off the fire and sprinkle groundnut powder on top. Serve hot with cutlets, tomato ketch up and a salad.

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