Easy: Vegetables in Penne Pasta

Sometimes you wish for something and you get something else in return totally unexpected. That is how unpredictable life is. I believe food and life are very similar to each other. You can make anything out of it. Be it a complete mess or something nice and beautiful! Something worth tasting. 🙂 Usually, you need a particular sauce to go with your plain boiled pasta. But, what if you don’t want to make any? No worries, this pasta I’ve made here doesn’t  require you to make any kind of sauce and is quick and easy to prepare. Oh! And of course, delicious too. No compromising on taste. Feel free to use your own choice of vegetables.

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Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

Penne Pasta

250 ml milk

1 medium-sized onion (julienne)

3-4 cloves of finely chopped garlic

2 cubes processed cheese

¼ chopped capsicum

½ carrot cut in small cubes

1 bowl of Button Mushrooms

½ cup of cottage cheese cut in cubes

1 finely chopped green chilli

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Freshly ground Black pepper

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Method

  • Add pasta to a pot of boiling water. Add salt and a tsp of Olive oil. Let it cook al dente.

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  • Heat Olive oil in a seperate pan. Add garlic and green chilies. Saute for a minute or two on a high flame.
  • Add onions and a pinch of salt
  • Next, add cottage cheese, carrots, mushrooms and any other veggies of your choice except capsicum. Let them cook on a medium flame. Add cheese cubes cut in small pieces (so that they melt easily).
  • Add milk and bring it to a boil.

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  • Add pasta and capsicum.  Mix well. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and hog onto it with buttered garlic bread! Slurp :p

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Happy cooking! 🙂

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Pasta in Green Chili and Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Pasta is definitely my weakness. I can hog onto a good plate of pasta at anytime of the day. Moreover, it is such a flexible dish to prepare and requires no fixed ingredients. The one I have made here is light on the palate and at the same time quite flavorsome as well. Also, over here I have prepared Alfredo Sauce with wheat flour. It is a healthier and an easier option and there are very less chances of lumps being formed while preparing the sauce. It was pretty weird for me to try it out with wheat flour for the first time, but surprisingly it tasted the same as the actual white sauce. Since then, I prefer to make white sauce the way I’ve mentioned below. Hope you all give it a try. 🙂

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This is what you will need:

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked durum wheat pasta

3 green chillies

2 medium-sized onions

6-8 cloves of garlic

1 green bell-pepper finely chopped

Thinly sliced black olives

¼ cup wheat flour

2 tbsp butter

2 ½ cups milk

Freshly ground black pepper

A pinch of nutmeg powder

Salt to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

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Method

  • Add green chillies, 1 onion and garlic into a mixer grinder and blitz with a tbsp of water. Form a paste.
  • To prepare white sauce melt butter in a non-stick pan. Add wheat flour and mix continuously for 5-6 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Pour milk and stir. It will gradually begin to thicken. Add nutmeg powder, black pepper, salt to taste. Add Parmesan cheese.

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  • In another pan, heat olive oil. Add green chili paste and cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame.
  • In the meantime, add pasta to boiling water and cook al dente. Click here for tips and tricks.
  • Add onions and saute. Add bell-pepper and pour in your white sauce. Add olives.

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  • Lastly, add in your cooked pasta and mix well. Give it a taste. Serve hot.

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Note: If you feel pasta has gotten too dry, add more milk, seasoning and cheese if you please. 😉

I am linking this recipe to Hungry Healthy Happy and Tinned Tomatoes for the Pasta Please Challenge.

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Enjoy! 🙂

Summer Coolant Salad Recipe

Fresh Mint Leaves. Cucumber. Curd. being the main ingredients of this recipe led me to name it Summer Coolant Salad. Pasta gives body to the salad, peanuts give the salad a nice crunch; whereas, the rest of the ingredients enhance the taste of the dish. It is refreshing and at the same time very nutritious.

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It is important to eat the right kind of foods during summers because they help keep you cool and hydrated. Curd contains good bacteria that increases the immunity level in the body and helps in digestion too. I have curd everyday in the form of Lassi ( half glass curd, half glass water, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and black salt). It tastes delicious. 😉  Needless to say, mint is a perfect summer herb. I love the strong aroma that comes from fresh mint leaves. It is so soothing. I really enjoyed this recipe, hope you all do too. 🙂 You can adjust the quantity of the ingredients as per your taste.

This is what you will need:

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 cups cooked durum wheat pasta (I’ve used Chifferi Rigati)

1 cup sweet corn kernels

A handful of fresh mint leaves

½ cup finely diced cucumber

1 finely chopped de-seeded green chili

2 tbsp crushed peanuts (add more if you like)

½ cup curd

Chili flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt for seasoning

Juice of 1 lemon

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Method

  • Roast peanuts in a pan on a low flame for a minute or two and then toss them on a high flame for a minute. Set aside for 5 minutes. Give them a rub in a muslin cloth. Air blow the peels in your kitchen sink. Once you’re rid of the peels pound them roughly in a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.

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  • For the dressing: Add curd and mint leaves in a mixer grinder and blitz. Add in a little seasoning too at this time along with lemon juice and 1 tsp olive oil.

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  • Pour the mint dressing over the salad and sprinkle the leftover seasoning. Toss well.

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Serve cold.

Note: After you have drained your pasta, drizzle a bit of olive oil so that it does not stick to each other as we will require cold pasta for the recipe. Give it a mix in between when it is being cooled.

I am linking this recipe to The Spice Trail – Summer Spice .

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Happy Summers 🙂

Fusilli with Baked Eggplant and Marinara Sauce

I simply adore pasta; both cooking and eating it, of course. 😉 I like to try them out with different flavors and sauces. Sometimes, they turn out great and a few other times–let’s just say, not so great! Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal- whatever name suits you best– in  pasta might not be a new combination, but I was trying to make it for the first time. I was a little hesitant at first wondering what if it becomes too lacy or the taste of eggplant overpowers the whole dish? Thankfully, nothing like that happened. 🙂 It just gave a subtle flavor to the whole dish and gelled very well with the tomatoes.

Did you know: Eggplant tastes bitter in its raw form. Therefore, the fruit should go through a process called ”degorging” which involves soaking sliced or diced vegetables/fruits in salt water, resulting in loss of moisture and removal of the bitterness from them. Make sure to rinse them in clean water before use. This process also reduces oil absoption of the vegetables.

I didn’t know this process had a name. Just wanted to share the little fact I learned. 🙂

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To make the dish, this is what you will need:-

Ingredients (Serves 5-6)

250 gm cooked pasta (al dente)

4 medium sized eggplants

4-5 red tomatoes

1 red onion

4-5 cloves garlic

1 green chili

1 handful green beans

Grated Cheese

1 tsp sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Black olives for garnish

Method

  • Wash and dice eggplants; place them in salt water for 15 minutes. Drain and stick them into a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes at 200 degree centigrade.

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  • In the meantime, make tomato puree, chop onions, garlic, green chili and 1 tomato.

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  • Add pasta to boiling water and a tsp of salt. Click here for tips and tricks to cook good pasta.
  • Heat oil in a pan and toast garlic, add green chili on a medium flame.

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  • Sweat onions. Add a dash of salt to quicken the process.

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  • Add tomato puree, tomatoes, sugar and green beans. Cover the lid and cook on a medium flame. If it gets too dry add ½ cup water.

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  • Add baked eggplants and cooked pasta to the sauce. Give it a toss, sprinkle Parmesan cheese, black pepper and olives.

Serve hot.

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  • I baked the rest for 20 minutes at 200 degree centigrade in a pre-heated oven or bake until a brown layer forms on the cheese(I have used Processed cheese over here). During the layering, I added little grated cheese in the middle, ensuring  my pasta doesn’t get all dried up.

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I preferred the baked version, although the former wasn’t all that bad! Probably, I was in a mood to eat it the cheesy way! 😉

Happy Cooking!

I am linking this recipe to Sliceoffme and Tinned Tomatoes for the Pasta Please Challenge

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Warm Potato and Pasta Salad in Sweet Onion Dressing

We all know how well sweet and sour flavors complement each other. Right?  This recipe here, is another yummy example of the heavenly sweet and sour combination. This salad is very light on the palate and a great muncher.  The Sweet Onion Dressing is more like a thick sauce, well-coated in potatoes and pasta. To be honest, I was attempting to make a normal liquid dressing. It didn’t quite turn out like that though. I think I still need to figure out how to make the actual dressing. Anyhow, this one turned out pretty great for now. The ingredients here blend really well with one another, in turn bringing out a lovely dish to savor or devour rather. 😉

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This is what you will need :-

Ingredients

8-9 Baby Potatoes

1 cup Raw Pasta (I have used Fusilli here)

2-3 cloves garlic

2 medium-sized red onions made into a paste (Use mixer grinder or grater)

1 de-seeded cayenne pepper

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Coriander Leaves (Herbs of your choice)

Salt to taste

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Method

  • Wash the baby potatoes and poke them with a fork. Microwave for 5 minutes on high and set aside. Peel after a while, as it will cool down a little by then.

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  • Add pasta to boiling water and a dash of salt. Cook al dente.

Meanwhile,

To prepare the dressing:-

  • Heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan. Add butter, finely chopped garlic and sauté.

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  • Next, add in your cayenne pepper and onion paste.
  • Add ½ tsp salt, sugar and 1/4 cup water.

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  • Sauté on a medium flame until translucent. A little sweetness comes naturally from the onions.
  • Add juice of half a lemon and mix.

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Turn off the flame; add pasta and potatoes. Sprinkle chopped coriander and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and give it a toss.

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Serve warm. Happy Eating 🙂

I am also sending this recipe to No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen.