Personally, I have never been a great sous chef or cook if I may say so. And I can’t believe I am writing a food blog either. Frankly, I never really preferred eating pasta earlier, forget about preparing it. And then my impression about pasta changed when I tried it in an Italian restaurant In Bangalore recently . Believe me it was yum and I loved it to the core. More so because it had the Indian flavors here and there. And we Indians prefer every dish to have an Indian flavor even if its an Italian pasta. Anyways, Since then I have been thinking of trying out one myself, but, never really got a chance or the guts to try. So when I came across this contest by Del Monte I applied Instantly. But wasn’t sure if I will be selected. So I just gave up on this. But then, life is all about challenges you see, More so, when you have a guest arriving at the eleventh hour .
Now this was sometime back. It was a weekend, and as usual during the weekends, we loiter around in the malls. And that Saturday we were expecting some guests in the evening, so we had some time and thought of buying some stuff to prepare the dinner. But sometimes things don’t happen the way we think. We started late and had lunch outside, and didn’t had time to go shopping, and so we decided will rush back home and see what can be prepared. And I had other stuff too like cleaning the house etc. Since we were late, I thought I will order something from outside, as I had no choice left. Just then the guests arrived. We welcomed them and had a chat for some time and I rushed to the kitchen to see what’s in there.
The catch here was that the kid who came along, He was very choosy and anything I asked him, he would say no. I asked him if he would prefer eating noodles ordered from outside, or some Indian dish? but he was too adamant and wouldn’t settle down to anything. So I promised him, I will prepare something which he will love and that surprise is what he liked and waited for. But what should I prepare was the only question or confusion I had. For quite some time, I was blank on ideas and was just peeping in the boxes to see, what’s in there.
And then the door bell rang and to my surprise the Del Monte packet was at my doorstep… I felt this was God sent. And so, I thought let’s try this out. However, I have tried macaroni but traditional pasta, is something which was in my to-do list for long time as mentioned earlier. So I decided to try it with the ingredients just in my kitchen and some homemade spices and sauces from the scratch.
Apparently, Pasta is something which is the quickest meal one can make and yet filling. It is known for its versatility and so one can add their favorite flavor and make a different recipe altogether. So when I came across this contest by Del Monte , earlier I was a little skeptical, but as I said life is all about challenges and so I took this as a challenge.
Now this was a real test of my culinary skills, because I have never tried pasta and was trying for the first time. And I promised that little kid without even knowing how this will come out.
Having said that, I had to do a lot of trials and errors till I come to a final taste of pasta, and finally here I am with a brand new recipe. And the name of my recipe is “Fusion Vegan Pasta with Desi Tadka”. Being an Indian, we love our spices to be added in every dish, and so adding a Desi Tadka to it, brings in a spicy and Desi flavor yet keeping the Italianism intact. And every bit of the recipe is made from the ingredients easily available at home, including the sauces. So here is my newly discovered recipe. Let’s start with the home made sauces. Mind you! I clicked all the pics as and when I was preparing it for the guests. So this is my first time tried and tested dish.
Italian Pasta Sauce:
Preparation time: 10 mins; cooking time: 15 mins; Portion size: 1 cup;
- Tomatoes 3-4 (or sufficient to make 1 cup puree. I took just a small quantity to make sure it comes perfect and then later we can make it in a little more quantity or as and when required)
- onion diced 1 cup
- Garlic cloves 10 minced
- mint leaves
- bay leaves
- Sugar 1 tsp, Oregano, Cloves 1-2, cinnamon. Sauf, Red chillies
- Celery leaves.
- Blanch the tomatoes and once cooked remove the skin and make a puree.
- In the mean while, Dry roasts all the spices till you get a nice aroma and grind separately.
- Take 1 tbsp of olive oil
- In a pan, heat oil, and sauté Onions and cook till golden brown
- Add minced Garlic
- Peel the blanched tomatoes and make a puree
- Add the tomato Puree to the sauted onion and garlic i and bring it to a boil
- Add salt, sugar, oregano and ground spices.
- Let it boil for a few minutes, add Celery leaves and mint leaves.
- Let it cook for some time or till it is cooked and starts to thicken and turn off the heat.
- At the end, just grind it in one swirl to let all the flavors mix well.
Your Pasta Sauce is ready
Preparation time: 5 Mins; cooking time: 10 mins; Portion size: 1 cup
All purpose flour / Maida – 3 tbsps
Milk – 1 cups
Butter 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Mix the flour with milk
The mix should be watery and without lumps.
Melt butter in a non stick pan or any pan.
Slowly add this flour mix and whisk briskly to ensure the liquid doesn’t get solidified.
Add salt and pepper powder and Keep stirring till the sauce reaches the desired thickness. It should not become very thick as the sauce tends to become very thick once it is cooled.
When it starts boiling, remove it and once cool, store it in an airtight container. This can be used for few days if refrigerated in a container. But making this sauce fresh is recommended. If the liquid forms a lump, you can blend it to a smooth paste.
And your white sauce is ready
Preparation time: 20 mins (Including pasta boiling simultaneously); Cooking time: 10 mins
Del Monte Pasta
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Green capsicum, green peas,
cut all the vegetables as shown in the pic above
- Boil the Pasta in 1 litre of water
2. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan
3. Add Ginger Garlic paste
4. Add Green chillies and onions
5. Add the remaining vegetables and saute well
6. Add salt and mix well
In the mean while strain the cooked pasta
7. Add the Pasta sauce and white sauce and mix well so that the flavor is mixed well in the vegetables.
8. Now add the Del Monte Pasta and toss.
9. Once all the vegetables and sauces are mixed. Transfer the dish in a bowl.
I have added lot of vegetables; if you like you can always make it plain. But making the pasta from the scratch is fun and effortless at the same time, if we get a hang of it…
I made a bread pizza as a side dish which goes well along with Pasta and kids would love it. It’s very simple too.
- Just cut the vegetables like capsicum, green chillies, tomatoes, baby corn, green peas and onions into small pieces.
- Cut the corners of the bread
- Mix all the veggies in the white sauce.
- Spread the white sauce, put all the cut veggies
Sprinkle some Cheddar cheese and grill in the microwave.
If you want you can season it with oregano and chilly flakes.
And your yummy bread Pizza is ready
Now it was serving time and the looks matters a lot, I tried to make it perfect, as this was for double purpose, One for the kid, and the other being the contest. And both purpose served.
Dressing and plating:
Dressing totally depends on once own choice. You can make it colorful or simple. Since I had some ingredients and sauce left, I used in in my dressing and plating as well.
- Transfer the pasta in a bowl.
- I took the cherry tomato and just cut in the middle to make it like a flower. And I squeezed some white sauce into the cut.
- Then cut parsley and garnish on the sides.
- Place the cheery tomato in the middle and garnish it with a mint leaf and pour some white sauce around as shown in the picture.
- Last but not the least grate some Cheddar cheese on the Pasta.
You can plate your pasta with any side dish and a sauce. As this was for a kid, I plated it with the bread pizza and tomato cup white sauce.
And your yummy Fusion vegan Pasta is ready. Looks so scrumptious just can’t wait to have a bite. Slurp!!!!
And mind you! this is made by someone who has never ever tried it and the best compliment I got was from the kid, who totally loved it and asked me to share the recipe with his mom! Now that’s what is called a compliment. So all in all, a great experience for the first timer like me.