Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pasta Mania



Recipe: Pasta in Mixed Sauce




I am especially proud to present this dish because I can say that I managed to gather the recipe for this one, all by myself.
No, I don’t mean to claim that I discovered it…. Of course not, But I figured out the ingredients through mere observation and imagination and also managed to get the closest to the real flavour. J




Pasta is relatively new to my favourites list.  Precisely speaking, it walked into my life almost 2 and half years back, when we moved to Bahrain.
Though I have had pastas a couple of times in India, it had been a disastrous experience. In fact we decided that pasta was just not our cup of tea!!
It was during our initial days in Bahrain that we began to notice this particular pasta place, which was always queued up with customers. There was not a day when there wasn’t at least a small queue in front of their counter.
So what’s so special with this pasta we wondered …. And yes the dish smelled and looked inviting too.
Finally, we decided to give pasta one last shot… we ordered for a chicken pasta with mixed sauce and settled down for our adventurous meal J
As the first spoonful of the cheesy, tangy, soft pasta went into my mouth, I realised that this one was here to stay!!!!
What surprised me more than ever was that, my ever so fussy daughter was gobbling up morsels of pasta and all the veggies that went with it, in absolute joy.  So, obviously, I had to make it…
The first thing I did after getting back home was to search the net for pasta recipes. But unfortunately I could not land on anything that was satisfactory or similar to the one we just had.
Luckily for me this particular place had an open cooking counter and so on my next visit, there I was; trying to absorb all what those cooks did…  


That’s how I found out the ingredients….. But it took me some time to figure out the sauces they used, a red one and a white one… and I had to make quite a few attempts, perfecting it each time to arrive at this final product.
The white sauce was easy to guess, but the red one took me some time. Initially I used ordinary ketchup, though it did give an okay taste, I knew I had not reached there. Finally, I made a tomato sauce on my own which did taste good enough, it was then that I realised that we could get ready made pasta sauces at the stores. I found a brand that gave a good flavour and that’s what I have used here.




I usually like mixing up all the different shaped pastas, but I only had some fusilli pastas left with me this time and so that’s what I have used here.


PASTA IN MIXED SAUCE

Ingredients

Pasta – 2 cups cooked. (Cook pasta by boiling in water along with some salt and a tbsp of oil to avoid the pastas from sticking together. Just remember to follow the cooking instructions on the packet)

White sauce – 1 cup to 1 ½ (recipe given below)

Tomato sauce – 4 tbsp (recipe given below or you may as well use a ready made one. I used ready made sauce.)

Onion – 1 medium chopped (try to use the white salad onions as they give the perfect flavour)
Capsicum – around half a capsicum sliced
Button Mushrooms – 4-5 sliced
Black olives – a handful pitted and sliced

(You can also include other vegetables like sliced cauliflower, broccoli etc)

Garlic – 2-3 crushed
Dry red chillies – 3-4 crushed coarsely (can be varied as per your spice needs)
Sausages – 2-3 cooked and sliced (you may replace this with boiled and shredded chicken, cooked shrimps etc)

Fresh Parsley chopped – 2-3 tbsp
Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp
Mozzarella cheese – ½ cup
Salt to taste

Preparation

Let me first start with the sauces

White sauce

Butter- 2 tbsp
All-purpose flour – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 ½ cups
Pepper – to taste
Salt to taste
 Hot Water if needed

Melt butter in a pan and add the flour stirring continuously. Try not to get lumps.

Once the raw smell is off, pour in the milk, again stirring constantly.
Add pepper and salt as per taste. Switch off the flame once the sauce starts thickening. Do not make it too thick; it should be of pour-able consistency. If you feel your sauce is too thick, just add some hot water.
Your white sauce is ready, set this aside.

Tomato sauce

Tomato – 1 large pureed (blanch the tomato, peel of the skin and puree it in a blender)
Garlic – 2 cloves
Parsley leaves – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1 tbsp chopped (use the white salad ones)
Salt to taste

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whisk to form a smooth sauce.
Alternatively, you may also you the ready made versions available at the stores.
I have used the brand Prego (Italian sauce).



 Remember to do the entire cooking on high flame.

Heat oil in a pan. Once, very hot add the garlic and sauté for a minute, now add the onions and after sautéing for a couple of minutes add the mushrooms and continue sautéing.
 Once, the mushrooms are quite done, add the capsicums, parsley and sausages and after sautéing for a few for minutes add the olives as well. Do not over cook the vegetables, it ruins the taste. Be sure to keep them crunchy.

Now put in the crushed dry red chillies and mix well. Follow this with the sauces. You can pour the sauces together. 
Your dish has to be really saucy with the pasta dripping with the gravy. So if you feel your dish is little too dry do no hesitate to add more of the sauces, checking the taste as you do.
After giving the mixture a good stir, add the cooked pasta and mix well.
Reduce the flame.
Add salt as per need.
Now sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese all over and continue mixing until the cheese has completely melted and blended along with the pasta.

Serve and eat with the steam sparring.

2 comments:

  1. Bake them at 170deg C for 30 mins with a layer of shredded mozarella and you'll find the little one begging for more everyday. We adults hv it with a dash of tobascco.

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    1. I have not tried baking pasta with the cheese on top..... I usually add it on flame itself. I'll try it nxt time.
      Gosh my little one can have it 24/7 and never tire of it ever :)

      Good tip smitha...thnks

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