PASSION FOR PASTA | videsi pasta with a desi tadka!…BY: DR. KAVIRAJ KHIALANI – CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF

PASSION FOR PASTA

videsi pasta with a desi tadka!

Pasta is one of those category of foods which is not only handy but also can be helping us in a variety of ways in order to make something different once in a while. Working with pasta from the Italian cuisine is great from the classics to the creative cooking angle which has something great to offer to all of us.

A few points of care while working with pasta of course should be kept in mind which include making them fresh as far as possible just before eating, cooking your pasta starting with boiling water with a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil will enable even cooking and also prevents them from sticking as well. The additions we combine with pasta can be almost anything in our list of vegetables to non-veg but make sure we don’t overcook anything.

While the original options don’t really always excite us here we prefer to get things to our palate by adding a tadka of spice and a little punch of masala into our pasta as well. I always like to have a new unusual combination in my pasta plate be it a salad style or a meal in itself or a nice bowl of soup with my choice of pasta in it. There are over one hundred plus varieties of pasta known around the world and it becomes little difficult at times which one to choose as well.

Some of the most popular pasta we come across are macaroni, penne, fussili, ravioli, spaghetti, fettucine, and not to forget my favorite sheets of pasta called lasagna for a nice baked version of pasta.

Here are a few of my Desi Touch and Twisted, Easy to Toss up Pasta Recipes!

Recipe-1] DESI TADKE WALA PASTA

Ingredients

Macaroni pasta-1 cup boiled

Oil-2 tsp

Butter-1 tsp

Jeera-1/2 tsp

Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp

Green chilies-1 tsp

Onion-1 small chopped

Tomato puree-1/4 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs-1/2 tsp

Chili flakes-1/2 tsp

Fresh cream-1/4 cup

Cheese- 2-3 tbsp. grated

Water/stock-1/2 cup

Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp

Tomato ketchup-2 tsp

Chicken keema/ soy granules- 1 cup

Green peas-1/4 cup

Coriander leaves-2 tbsp. chopped

Lime juice-2 tsp add and serve

Fried cashews and raisins- 2 tbsp.

Brown onions-2-3 tbsp. add and mix at the end.

Method:

1. Boil water add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp oil and then add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes until it is just cooked and can be easily split up using our fingers, immediately drain the water, refresh pasta with cold water and keep aside, sprinkle few drops of oil if desired to prevent further sticking of the pasta.

2. To prepare the sauce mixture, heat oil and butter in a pan add in the jeera, onions and saute until light brown, add in the ginger-garlic paste, green chilies and saute, add in the tomato puree, salt, pepper, garam masala powder, herbs and chili flakes and saute well, add a little water and allow the masala to cook.

3. Add in the chicken keema or the soya granules with peas and stir for a couple of minutes. Add in little water and allow to simmer and cook for 10-15 mins. Add in the ketchup and boiled pasta, toss it up well, check for salt, add in the final touch of garnish with cheese, fried onions, nuts, coriander and a splash of lime juice, serve hot with garlic toast.

Recipe-2] CHUTNEYWALA CHATPATA PASTA

Ingredients

Farfalle pasta/ choice of pasta- 1 cup boiled

For the green chutney for dressing:

Fresh basil leaves- 1 cup

Coriander leaves-1/2 cup

Mint leaves- 5-6 no

Garlic-2-3 cloves chopped

Lime juice-2 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil-2 tsp

Chilled water-2-3 tsp

Peanuts/ cashews- 2-3 tsp

For adding into the salad:

Mozzarella cheese- 2-3 tbsp.

Cherry tomatoes- 10-12 no

Hung curd/ veg mayonnaise-2-3 tsp

Chaat masala-1/2 tsp

Cubes of paneer/ chicken- ½ cup saute with little salt, pepper, oil, chaat masala and chili flakes in 1 tbsp. oil.

Assorted veggies like boiled sweet corn, saute mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli etc can also be added into it.

Assorted seeds- flax seeds/ sunflower seeds/ melon seeds- 2 tsp can be added.

Fresh herbs/ micro-greens -2-3 tbsp. for garnish.

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the Chatpata pasta salad.

2. In a chutney grinder combine together the ingredients for the green chutney dressing and once ready, remove into a bowl and mix in the hung curd or veg mayonnaise and little chaat masala and chill until used.

3.Once pasta is boiled, and all other vegetables/ non-veg ingredients are ready, we can now add everything into a mixing bowl and add the chutney dressing into it, add a little salt and pepper as needed, some lime juice, chaat masala and give it a nice toss.

4. Serve it cold in a salad plate or a pasta plate and add cheese, seeds, nuts, herbs etc for garnish.

Recipe-3] MATTAR MUSHROOM WALA PASTA

Ingredients

Penne pasta/ boiled pasta- 1 cup

Sliced fresh mushroom- 1 cup

Boiled green peas-1/4 cup

Celery-2 stalks cut into small pieces

Garlic-1 tsp chopped

Onion-1 small chopped

Green chilies- 1 tsp chopped

Oil-2 tsp

Butter-1 tsp

Water/stock-1/4 cup

Salt and pepper- to taste

Kasuri methi-1 tsp

Mixed herbs-1/2 tsp

Chili flakes-1/2 tsp

White sauce-1 cup

Fresh cream-2 tbsp.

Cheese-2 -3 tbsp. grated/ cream cheese

Fresh herbs/ toasted nuts to garnish.

Olives/ cherry tomatoes/ fresh parsley/ basil for garnish.

Method:

1. Boil water add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp oil and then add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes until it is just cooked and can be easily split up using our fingers, immediately drain the water, refresh pasta with cold water and keep aside, sprinkle few drops of oil if desired to prevent further sticking of the pasta.

2. To prepare the sauce with mattar and mushrooms, heat oil and butter in a pan add in the garlic, chilies, onions, celery and saute for a few minutes.

3. Add in the sliced mushrooms, peas and all seasonings, herbs, kasuri methi and chili flakes as per taste and add little water and allow the veggies to cook for a couple of minutes. We can add a little white wine as well if desired.

4. Now add in the white sauce, cream and mix well, add in the boiled penne pasta and give it a nice mix with the sauce and veggies, if desired add some boiled chicken cubes or sliced sausages at this stage as well.

5. After cooking for a couple of minutes, add a little cheese and fresh herbs of your choice and immediately serve hot.

Recipe-4] PASTA AUR MURGH KI JUGALBANDI

Ingredients:

Macaroni/ shell shaped pasta/ your choice- 1 cup boiled

Boneless chicken cubes- 1 cup

For marination of chicken pieces:

Oil-1 tbsp.

Salt to taste

Lime juice-2 tsp

Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp

For the sauce/gravy for pasta:

Oil-1 tbsp.

Butter-1 tsp

Jeera-1/2 tsp

Onion paste-1/2 cup

Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp

Green chilies-1 tsp chopped

Tomato puree-1/2 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs and chili flakes to taste

Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp

Red chili powder-1/2 tsp

Coriander powder-1 tsp

Water-1/2 cup

Cream- ¼ cup

Cashew paste-2 tsp

Cheese-2 -3 tbsp.

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.

Assorted fried nuts-2-3 tsp

Lime juice-2 tsp add and serve

Method:

1.Boil the pasta, marinate the chicken for 30 mins.

2. To start with the gravy for the pasta, heat oil and butter in a pan add in the jeera, add onion paste, ginger-garlic paste and green chilies and cook on a medium flame for 6-8 mins.

3. Add little water as we cook along, now add in the tomato puree, salt and all powdered spices and cook the masala well.

4. Now we can add in the chicken pieces and bhunao/saute for a couple of mins, add cream, cashew paste and cook on a low flame for 8-10 mins.

5. Add in the boiled pasta, toss it well, add fresh coriander, cheese, nuts and mix lightly and serve it hot!

Recipe-5] PALAK AUR PANEER WALA LASAGNE

Ingredients:

To prepare the palak and paneer filling:

Oil-2 tsp

Butter-1 tsp

Garlic- 1 tsp chopped

Onion-1 small chopped

Green chili-1 tsp chopped

Green capsicum-1/2 no chopped

Spinach- 1 cup blanched, chopped

Paneer-1/2 cup grated.

Capsico/ tabasco sauce-1 tsp

As an option can use boiled chopped chicken-1/2 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs and chili flakes to taste

For the layering:

Flat boiled lasagna sheets/ leftover rotis/ theplas etc- 6-8 no

White sauce- 1 and a half cup

Cheese-3-4 tbsp.

Mixed herbs-1/2 tsp

Chili flakes-1/2 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Prepare the lasagna sheets/ use leftover maida rotis etc for this concept since it comes out equally well.

2. Grease a baking dish with little oil/butter and keep aside, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

3. Prepare the filling, heat oil and butter in a pan, sauté the garlic, onion, chilies for a couple of minutes, add in the capsicum, add in salt, pepper, herbs, chili flakes, spinach and saute for a couple of minutes.

4. Add in the paneer and mix well, cook for 2-3 mins, turn off the flame add little cheese and Capsico/ tabasco and mix. Assemble the baked dish start with a little white sauce at the base in the dish and place a couple of sheets, place the prepared filling and add some cheese, top with the pasta sheets, and continue layering till the top.

5. Final layer to be with white sauce, cheese and some mixed herbs and chili flakes, place the dish inside the oven and bake for 18-20 mins until the surface gets browned, remove and serve hot with toast/ cheese garlic bread etc.

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