Saturday, May 8, 2010

Simple Pasta

It was a rainy day and the cook's day out. So wondering what to zap for dinner when I was overcome with the urge to have pasta.

While I am yet to cross the threshold to make pasta from scratch - for now I have made it with store-bought pasta (Bambino or any other brand would do) and home-made sauce.


1 packet Pasta (Spaghetti / penne / elbow) - about 400 gms
1 Large Capsicum - sliced
1 Tomato - Chopped
1/4 cup chopped Spring Onions (make sure to keep the whites sliced and separate)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon - Shredded Cheese

For the Sauce:

2 Ripe Tomatoes
5-6 Garlic - Finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon - shredded dry red chilly (optional)
A dash of Oregano
1 tablespoon - Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon - Tomato Ketchup
1 pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

Boil some water in a pan and blanch the tomatoes. De-skin and grind to a pulp in a blender. Set Aside.

In a sauce pan, add some olive oil. Add the dry chillies and chopped garlic and fry for a minute until the oil absorbs the flavor or the garlic. Add the sliced spring onions and fry for a minute. Add the capsicum and allow it to soften a bit. Now add the tomatoes and tomato puree and allow the sauce to cook. Once the sauce looses its raw flavour, add the tomato ketchup , salt and sugar and allow it to thicken further.
As the sauce is simmering, heat up a big pan of water and add a dash of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. As the water reaches boiling point, add the pasta and allow it to cook. Once the pasta is cooked "al dente" (or to a biting consistency), remove from fire, drain the water (retain some of the water) and add the pasta to the sauce. Mix well. Add the pasta water if the consistency is too thick. Sprinkle shredded cheese and spring onions and oregano.

I made extra batch of the sauce and stored it in a jar in the fridge. Just remove the extra sauce before adding the pasta - and voila -the next time the pasta craving hits you - all you need to do is boil the pasta, heat the sauce from the jar and mix it up. You can also add other vegetables like corn, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms or shredded chicken or prawns.

A heaped plateful of Pasta with a good novel on a rainy day - Bliss!

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