Easy cooking ideas for singles # 26 –Pasta Recipe, just the way I like it.

Easy cooking ideas for singles # 26 –Pasta, just the way I like it!

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This is another Easy cooking idea for singles # 26 –Pasta, just the way I like it and you can make it just as you like it. Add or minus your favourite ingredients. I am definitely not a Pasta fan nor can I take in too much cheese and most people have extra cheese!! My bad!

Cooking only for myself is a real chore and I always end up rustling some sandwiches or mixing a kind of Bhel (piquant snack consisting of puffed rice and lemon)! Lately, I have found that cooking is generally therapeutic for emotional souls like me.So instead of paying my shrink I guess it pays to cook for my hungry tummy. Thus started my foray into selfish cooking….for I, Me, Myself!  It was low cal Aloo Tikki (potato cutlets) the other day, and then came the disastrous Papad roll. Of course, they were tasty but I was hasty in rolling them! I have these

I have these so many kinds of Pasts and cheese lying in the fridge and I wanted to try something “different” like my last name which is Alagh and actually means different! (Read hatt ke:p) and light…minus the white sauce and lots of cheese. Today I went overboard cleaning the Kitchen and got the hob shining, then got down to rustling my Pasta in a gleaming kitchen! I had too many choices…Gnocchi, Penne Rigata or Perciatelli. I played Eeny meeny myni moe and it was Penne for today. I blanched the tomatoes for the sauce and put the pasta to boil in another pan. I love mutter or green peas in any dish and even corn for that matter. 2 mushrooms were feeling very left out in the fridge and I picked them up too along with a carrot and French or string beans.

Having been born and brought up and still living in a small town like Vijayawada, I never had the exposure for exotic cuisines or gourmet food. I have not travelled much and even when I did I never really tried to taste anything other than the tried and tested dishes. Most of the times I cook Chindian (Chinese-Indian), as I really love all kinds of noodles, soups and Manchuria or veggies in garlic sauce or chow-chow;  I did love to try out new recipes but most would be from cookbooks or anything I could improvise and innovate in my kitchen for my son who was a foodie since he was a kid.I always read and heard about Pasta, Spaghetti and Lasagna and knew that these are Italian dishes but neither tasted nor cooked it coz we didn’t get the ingredients here and I didn’t have the means to get them from elsewhere. But from what I read, I gather that Marco Polo from one of his adventures to the Far East brought back noodles!! This shows that it could have originated in Asia.

I always read and heard about Pasta, Spaghetti and Lasagna and knew that these are Italian dishes but neither tasted nor cooked it coz we didn’t get the ingredients here and I didn’t have the means to get them from elsewhere. But from what I read, I gather that Marco Polo from one of his adventures to the Far East brought back noodles!! This shows that it could have originated in Asia.But now Pasta is here there everywhere and giving tough competition to the ubiquitous noodles. Pasta is made from semolina which is made from durum wheat and raw pasta is quite reasonably priced. Pasta world over is bought off the shelf but the best pasta is the fresh one made in Italy in a copper or brass mould.

I like my pasta in a tomato sauce as I am Lactose Intolerant and the white sauce is too much to handle. Very few people agree that tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable and used as a vegetable for culinary purpose. “Tomatoes are not the only food source with this ambiguity: avocados, eggplants, cucumbers, and squashes of all kinds (such as zucchini and pumpkins) are all botanically fruits, yet cooked as vegetables.”….(.Wikipedia). The Italians too grew tomatoes but just for ornamental purposes as they thought it was highly toxic. But later on this changed and now Marinara or tomato sauce is an intrinsic part of Italian cooking.Spaghetto in Italian means ‘little twine’ as it is in strands and the – I at the end is for the plural-Spaghetti! Making good pasta is not rocket science but as easy as a rhyme which rhymes with thyme .I came across this poem by an anonymous person and it sums it all. I enjoyed it and am sure you will as well!!

Cooking3

So many different shapes,

And so many different kinds,

Twirl it around your fork,

Pick it up and start to wind,

There’s Vermicelli and angel hair,

Fettuccine and linguine,

Penne, and shells,

Bow ties and Rotini.

Fill a pot with water,

And turn up the heat,

Put in some salt,

And throw in the noodles, nice and neat.

Wait 10 minutes,

Then they’re done!

Put something on them?

Not really done.

Well maybe some butter,

And throw in some shrimp,

Some green crunchy broccoli,

Make sure it’s not limp.

Put on tomato sauce,

Or just garlic and cheese,

Or add in vegetables,

Whatever you please

Maybe some sardines

Fettuccini Alfredo sauce,

If you don’t,

Well that’s your loss.

Well put whatever you want in,

It’s really your choice,

But now you’ve made pasta,

You should rejoice 🙂

I guess that was too much ranting about Pasta, so let’s get down to the recipe.

My kinda pasta

Ingredients:

1 cup Penne Rigata pasta

4 tomatoes blanched and pureed

1 onion chopped fine

Few flakes garlic

1 tsp chilli flakes

Pinch of oregano, thyme

5 Basil leaves fresh

1 tsp ground black or white pepper

Salt to taste

1 tsp Olive oil

1 cup full of steamed veggies of your choice

Carrot, Beans, Mushroom, Peas, American corn

2 tbsp low-fat milk

2 tbsp Mozzarella

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Method:

Boil the pasta for 12 minutes in a huge pan of water. Add kosher salt for better taste of the pasta. Drain into a colander once done.

Take a pan and add a few drops of olive oil. Once hot add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté till pink, now add the blanched, peeled and pureed tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes till the oil floats on top…I know the oil was too little but then cook them well. Add chilli flakes, pepper, salt, oregano, thyme and basil leaves.Steam the vegetables and keep aside. Take a casserole and arrange the boiled pasta as the bottom layer. Pour the milk over the pasta and sprinkle some salt, pepper, thyme and oregano on it. Now pour the tomato sauce over the pasta, and then add the vegetables. Top it with the mozzarella and place in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove from  the oven and dig in right away!! This was my kinda Pasta, you can make your own too by adding or subtracting something, a twist here and a tweak there…keep experimenting and you can have your pasta and eat it too 🙂

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