Category Archives: Italian

♧ PASTA ♧

Italian cuisine, swoop up the world and my country!

Deftly chiselling and carving its niche!

Italian ingredients, need stocking up in the pantry!

Arrives with an olive branch, now well within reach!

Pasta, distinguished, diverse in shapes and varieties, makes a gallant entry!

Surprise and sneak veggies, into the sphagetti!

Discover with glee, children fancy more and are hungry!

Gains approval, with complete unanimity!

Why bother searching ‘Ristorante’ up on Zomato?!

Make it at home, creamy, cheesy, flavourful with olive oil, oregano and tomato!

Wine and Dine! Divine!

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A PASTA !

PASTA IN WHITE SAUCE

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves: 4

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Creamy white sauce with veggies

Ingredients for preparing the Alfredo sauce | Béchamel sauce  (organic and natural) :

  • 1 1/2 tbsp  butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp plain flour or corn flour (for gluten free version)
  • 3 – 4 cups milk
  • 25 gms or 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese | cheddar | cheese of choice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 – 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg powder
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for preparing the white sauce (organic and natural) :

  • 1 onion
  • 6 – 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1 /2 cups of finely chopped vegetables (an assortment of coloured capsicum, green or black olives, corn, peas, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, a few spinach leaves, a sprig of parsley or coriander leaves, mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 11/2 to 3 tsp Italian herb mix seasoning (a blend of rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese |  cheese of choice
  • salt to taste

Ingredients to prepare the Pasta (organic and natural) :

  • 500gms whole wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta made with rice flour | millet flour | buckwheat flour (for the gluten free version)
  •  2 tsp salt or as required
  • large pot of water for boiling the pasta

Method :

  1. Grate the cheese block and set aside.
  2. First  prepare the creamy Béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a skillet, add the flour and roast it for a couple of minutes. Poke and secure the cloves onto the bay leaf and add it in. Stir for about 2 – 3 mins then add milk and cook for about 5 – 7 mins till it thickens. Remove out  the secured bay leaf and cloves and discard. Mix in the grated cheese. Switch off heat. Grate in the nutmeg, add pepper powder and salt. If the sauce is too thick, stir in another 1/2 – 1 cup of milk. Set aside.
  3. Peel and crush the garlic and make a garlic paste. Peel and finely chop the onion. Finely chop, rest of the vegetables.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the crushed garlic paste and saute for a 1 -2 mins, till done. Now add the olive oil and throw in the onions. Add the salt and saute them till translucent, then toss in the assorted veggies, except spinach or any other greens and olives. Fry them for about 5 – 10 mins till lightly cooked and crunchy.
  5. Fold in the prepared Béchamel sauce, then add the seasonings, first the red chilli flakes, italian herb mix. Mix well and cook for about 2 -3 mins. Now add the spinach, parsley, any other greens (if added) and olives. Mix well. Alfredo white sauce is done. Switch off the heat.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 10 – 15 mins for regular pasta and about 7 – 10 mins for gluten free pasta or as per the instructions on the packet.
  7. Pour the sauce over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

PASTA IN RED SAUCE :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves: 4

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Spicy tangy red sauce with tomatoes

Ingredients for preparing the red sauce | Marinara sauce (organic and natural) :

  • 1 kg tomatoes (preferably sweet roma ones)
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 9 – 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar (optional, if the tomatoes are not sweet enough)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 11/2 to 3 tsp Italian herb mix seasoning (a blend of rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 3 – 4 basil leaves | tulsi leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese |  cheese of choice

Ingredients to prepare the Pasta (organic and natural) :

  • 500gms whole wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta made with rice flour | millet flour | buckwheat flour(for the gluten free version)
  •  2 tsp salt or as required
  • large pot of water for boiling the pasta

Method :

  1. Make a few gashes or slits across all the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch the tomatoes for 2 minutes. Drain and shock them in cold water and then peel all of them.
  2. Puree half the quantity in a blender and finely chop the rest. Finely chop the capsicum, garlic and basil leaves.
  3. Take butter in a skillet and roast the garlic for about 3 mins, then pour in the olive oil. Add in the tomato puree, finely chopped tomatoes and capsicum. Cook covered for 5 mins. Open the lid stir well and cook covered, for atleast 30 mins. The longer you cook the tomatoes, the tastier the sauce.
  4. Roast the fennel seeds and powder them in a dry grinder.
  5. Then add the sugar, fennel seeds powder, Italian herb mix, red chilli flakes and pepper powder and cook for about 5 mins. Add the finely chopped basil leaves. Marinara red sauce is done. Switch off heat.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 10 – 15 mins for regular pasta and about 7 – 10 mins for gluten free pasta or as per the instructions on the packet.
  7. Pour the sauce over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

PASTA IN MIXED SAUCE OF WHITE AND RED :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves: 4

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Mixed sauce of both white and red.

Ingredients for Mixed sauce of White and Red :

  • Prepared White Sauce
  • Prepared Red Sauce
  • 500 gms Prepared and boiled al dente pasta
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese |  cheese of choice

Method :

  1. Mix the freshly prepared white sauce and red sauce together
  2. Pour the mixed sauces over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.
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Pasta in mixed sauce of red and white. This one gets the highest vote @ home!

BAKED PASTA :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins ; Serves : 4

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Baked pasta. Goey goodness!

Ingredients :

  • Freshly prepared Pasta in white sauce pasta | Pasta prepared in red sauce  | Pasta prepared in a mixed sauce of White and red
  • 100 – 150 gms parmesan cheese block |  cheese of choice
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See this is what I mean?!

Method :

  1. Grate the cheese.
  2. Make alternate layers of  prepared pasta and grated cheese or pour in the prepared pasta and cover only the top layer with grated cheese, in an oven proof baking dish.
  3. Bake at 170 C for about 30 mins or till the cheese layer on the top melts and bakes to a golden brown colour. Serve hot.
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A Yum!
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