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Posts tagged "presto pasta nights"

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The wide gaps that I leave here leaves me feeling guilty and wanting to make up but posting for the heck of posting is no fun. Finding a recipe I like so much that I feel the need to share is what is worth a blog post.

While I have been busy with classes, taking a break from everything and searching for something I might enjoy doing is taking up most of my time. One of those days while I was thinking, hunger pangs made me whip up something quick and yet fancy - at least to my palate. image

I have always had a thing for italian food - so much so that my (R)oomie wonders if I have some italian blood in me. I can never tire of italian cuisine except of course when I’m served with Mom’s sambar or (R)oomie’s rasam. 

So coming back to the recipe - I used basic ingredients, fresh and organic and simple. 

Ingredients:

Pasta - boiled and drained - I used spagetti. Each type of pasta has different cooking directions. Follow the directions on the packet for convenience. I usually stand by to make sure its al dente since I don’t enjoy overcooked pasta. 

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For the sauce:

Roma tomatoes - 2

Fresh basil - a handful

Yellow pepper - 1/2 cup chopped into tiny cubes

Garlic - 7 cloves - peel and smash and chop up roughly

Oil - I used a teaspoon of olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to go about it:

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the oil and the garlic and saute for a minute or two. You are looking to lose the raw smell the garlic… Trust your nose on this one if you like garlic.

Now add the tomatoes and salt and pepper(to taste) and cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Uncover and use the back of the ladle to mash the tomatoes. Add the yellow pepper and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly. cook uncovered for another 5-7 minutes on medium high.

Now add the basil leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix well with the spagetti and serve hot. This makes enough to serve 2 with leftovers for lunch.

Linking to the the host of Pasta+please challenge hosted by Ruth this month, started by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes

taken at noodles and company enroute to a Haunted house. That story is for another day though.

I’ll cut to the chase this time and give you the recipe right away and you can decide if you want to hang around a lil bit longer.

Pesto Pasta with Veggie dogs

Boiled and drained pasta of your choice 2 Cups
Basil Pesto - 1 Cup (Directions below)
Veggie Dog - 1 (Directions below)

For the Pasta:
It’s good to keep a close eye on the pasta to make sure they don’t get overcooked. Once cooked drain the pasta and run it through cold water to retain it’s firmness.

Basil Pesto:

Fresh basil - 2 loose cups
Pine Nuts - 1 Cup
Parmigiano-Reggiano - Freshly grated - 1/4 cup
Olive oil - 1/2 Cup
Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
Pink Salt - to taste

We got a box of fresh basil from Wholefoods just the other evening and the aroma was tantalizing and calling out to me. I don’t have very many recipes to make with Basil - pizza and pesto are the most likely choices I’d make - observe how much i lean towards Italian cuisine. It must have something to do with my previous life.

Run the leaves through cold water and separate the leaves from the stem and discard the thick stems.
Heat a non stick pan and dry roast the pine nuts making sure they brown slightly and evenly. Pine nuts are expensive so yea don’t let it go to waste.
Btw we discovered pink salt about a month ago and I’ve been using it in a lot of salads this time around I decided to experiment it in the pesto. You are free to use regular salt.
In a blender combine the all the ingredients and blend to a consistency of your choice. Your pesto is ready!

Veggie Dog:

Olive oil - 1 Tsp
Veggie dogs - sliced about 5 mm thick (Thats probably too much detail :D, i meant slice so that it holds not too thin and not too thick)
Low sodium soy sauce - 1 Tsp

Heat some oil in the skillet and add the veggie dog slices. Brown evenly on both sides for about 2 min. Add the soy sauce and let cook on both side for about 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
**I went slow on soy sauce since the veggie dogs had salt content already.

Bringing it all together:

Add the pesto to the boiled pasta and garnish with the sauteed veggie dog slices.
Enjoy!

PS:

The (R)oomie and I are hooked ever since I got home these smart veggie dogs. These are treats that are high in protein content, are vegetarian AND taste delish at the same time. All it needs is a few minutes of saute on your favourite cast iron skillet, or a few minutes baking time wrapped in an american biscuit.
What ever you choose I can promise you that your taste buds are going to be happy. Now from some feedback I received on my previous post, I realized that a lot of vegetarians do not enjoy soy based products. I still cannot eat soy chunks and do not enjoy the taste. But the (R)oomie loves it and so I end up making it or eating it more often than I’d like to.

Disclaimer:

I am not being paid for any of the products I put up on my blog. It’s my personal opinion and I respect that your opinion might be very different.

Finger licking food…

How this post came about:

     About 3-4 dys ago I saw Sala’s facebook update about her interview with mrsmakicooks and to be very honest I was curious to hear her voice. So I listened and enjoyed it. Towards the end she surprised me with a simple yet delicious sounding recipe with tofu. You can find the original detailed recipe with gorgeous pictures here

I tweaked the recipe because I didnt have all the ingredients in my pantry.

Get some extra firm tofu and drain it and press it to get as much water out of it as possible.

Slice it up into thin triangles.

Heat your favourite cast iron skillet and roast the tofu evenly on both sides. I roasted 5-6 pieces at a time. You are welcome at add some oil if you like. I skipped it.

Keep aside as you get ready to prepare the glaze.

Mix together 2 Tbsps of Soy sauce(low sodium), 1 generous Tbsp of Red pepper jelly, 1 tsp of chili garlic sauce and 1 tsp of honey or brown sugar. Keep aside.

Turn the heat back on and add the tofu and the glaze and let simmer for about 5 min. Take the tofu out into a serving dish and turn off the heat. Let the excess glaze remain in the skillet.

Garnish with coriander and serve warm.

To make it a complete meal boil some water and add soba noodles and let soak for about 8 minutes. Drain and add to the remaining glaze in the skillet. Toss around so the noodles soak in the glaze. 

Enjoy! Off this goes to Presto Pasta Nights after a really long time! Heather of Girlichef is hosting PPN #270.

P.S: I totally enjoyed instagraming at night :)

I must start with apologizing for keeping you all waiting for this round-up. I had laptop issues and had to borrow (R)oomie’s work laptop to finally get this post ready for all of you! I got a lovely round-up and I can’t wait to share them with you…

Divya from Boston blogs at Coconuty Tales, sent us this scrumtious looking Coconut Pasta which I have queued up in my ‘must make’ list…

Shaheen who is from the West of Scotland and blogs at allotment2kitchen literally sent us Summer in a plateful , a Summer Pasta dish of Orzo with Broccoli and Olives.  
 

Janet from Canada, blogs at The Taste Space sent us 15-Minute Zippy Garlic-Basil Marinara with Zucchini Noodles. This recipe blew my mind and I can’t wait to try it out!

Tandy Sinclair who blogs at TandySinclair sent us Calamari Risotto which is very new and exotic for someone like me… What about you? Try it out and let us know!

Madge who blogs at the Vegetarian Casserole Queen sent us a Classic Macaroni salad - which makes me very happy because I don’t need too many reasons to make pasta and if its a salad what more reason do you need? :D

Juli from Georgia, blogs at Pictures of a Princess  sent us this versatile dish which can be made both vegetarian and non-vegetarian called the Chicken and Spatzle with Herb Butter   I learnt about a new ingredient ‘Spatzle’ from Juli and that’s the fun part of a round-up. You get to learn so much!

Sandhya, from United Kingdom sent in 2 recipes which I posted on my blog 

Pasta Pulav has a Indian touch to it and it’s fun cause it mixes up many pastas!

Spaghetti in tomato sauce with falafel and butter grilled vegetables is more like 2 dishes and is such a fun summer dish! Do try it out!

I hope you all have enjoyed this week’s round up! Thank you so much for being a part of it and for being patient too!

Next week Ruth from Once upon a Feast is hosting so please send all your delicious dishes to her - ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com by Thursday, Aug 4th.  If you are interested in hosting you can contact Ruth too!

My previous post would be proof enough as to how excited I am about hosting Presto Pasta Nights… What got me even more excited was having my friends participate - I think I almost blackmailed one into sending me entries. Let me introduce Sandhya, a friend from kinder-garden and a genuinely sweet person. Over the years the only point of contact used to be at a common friend’s wedding and now thanks to the social network we are constantly in touch. Sandhya has been tempting us all with pics of her kitchen adventures and I’ve always seen tons of people ask her for recipes. I tried convincing her to get start a blog without much luck… Hope you’re listening Sandy! :D Without further ado let me share her recipes with you all as entries to Presto Pasta Nights 224!!!

Pasta Pulao.

Ingredient :

Pasta of your choice like penne , fusili , macaroni etc

Onion - 1 finely chopped

4 Garlic pods,

a piece of ginger , and

2 green chilies finely chopped

Potato - 1 large chopped to medium bits

Carrot - 1 large finely chopped

Beans - 10 sticks finely chopped

Tomato - 1 large finely chopped

Peas n sweet corn - 1 cup

Optional - cauliflower n green peppers finely chopped

Water as required

Seasoning : Salt Oil - 2 spoons Shajeera, bay leaf and cloves Coriander powder, jeera powder Method: Add oil in a large pan. Add shajeera, cloves , bayleaf and let them fry for a minute before adding onions , ginger, garlic and green chilies . Let them fry till onions turn transulent. Then add the remaining vegetables and fry for approx 5 mins . Add salt , and the masalas and pasta . Mix well and add water . Note that the water added here should be little more as ur boiling pasta with vegetables . Keep the lid on the pasta-veg mixture and keep stirring occasionally so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the vessel. Cook until the water is evaporated / pasta is cooked . Add water is u feel pasta is undercooked. Add a small stick of butter and garnish with coriander/ cilantro before serving .

Spaghetti in tomato sauce with falafel and butter grilled vegetables:

Ingredients :

Spaghetti - Half a pack boiled as per the instructions / with little oil

Tomato Sauce : Boiled and puréed tomatoes - 2 big or 3- medium

Onion - 1 big fried and paste into paste

ginger-garlic paste - 2 spoons

salt oregano, black pepper and thyme for seasoning

Falafel : 1 big cup chick peas - soaked overnight ( or for 8 hrs min ) and boiled

1 onion - finely chopped

3-4 garlic pods - finely chopped

3 spoons of fresh chopped parsley

1 spoon coriander powder

1 spoon cumin powder

2-3 spoons of flour ( for binding)

salt for taste

oil for frying

mix all the above ingredient in processor until a soft but firm dough is formed. lightly oil your hands and make small ping pong sized balls and slightly flatten them and deep fry .

Method : Boil and blanche tomatoes and fry onions along with ginger garlic paste and grind them together to get onion-tomato purée . Add little oil in a wok and let the sauce simmer and add the seasoning and in the meanwhile let spaghetti cook . Once the spaghetti is done, mix it along with the sauce and serve hot with the falafel balls on the side and butter grilled vegetables like beans-carrots-cauliflowers-broccoli

I am sooper excited to be hosting a food event for the first time ever! And when I say food, it’s PASTA my favourite food in the entire world! ;) Well to be honest it was the fastest, safest and tastiest bachelorette food when I started living alone. As a kid my Mom was forced to make mac and cheese (which is the tastiest form of pasta even now) many many times over the years. 

College days parties were more of Punjabi cuisine and after a while when I started working and could afford to eat out in costlier eateries I started experimenting with different kinds of pastas. I even got my bff hooked! Making pasta at home in India was a rarity and so when I came to live in the US my first month was filled with spaghetti and ragu sauce every day for dinner for about 2 months! Then I got my roomies and they started making amazing Gujarati food at home and I got over my pasta addiction for a bit. I still end up ordering Italian when I go out. 

After I was introduced to prestoastanights, an event hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast  I started experimenting with pasta at home. About a year ago I even got myself papperdelles pastas from a farmers market and loved it. I’m proud to say that every variation of pasta made at our home has made it to prestopastanights! And recently I finally gathered courage to ask Ruth if I could host the event(I’ve never hosted a food event before) and she agreed!

So all my dearies, pasta lovers, food bloggers welcome to the first ever event on my space “The Presto Pasta Nights

This space this week is for experimentation, creativity and tickling your “italian” taste-buds. Bring it on and send it to me before it’s too  late(midnight 7/28/2011 PST)

All the roundups can be found here. The guidelines are pretty simple:

1) The dish must have some sort of noodle, it doesn’t have to be traditional Italian type pasta, it can be hot, cold, salad, soup, main, dessert, or anything else, but it must have some kind of noodle;

2) If you are a food blogger you must mention Presto Pasta Nights with the link and link me to it as well. This is where you find out who’s hosting for the week you want to enter.

3) Email your entry to me at harinimenonnair@gmail.com (Please copy the email id from here because there is a ‘nn’ which you might miss otherwise)and a cc to Ruth(at ruth@4everykitchen.com) with the link to your post no later than Thursday so I can have the roundup ready on Friday.

4) As for photos: - it’s best to attach a jpeg of your dish in your email. If you wish to use a PPN logo, just copy it from the top of this post.

5) The best part - send in as many entries as you please!!!

Let it pour people!

I’m so crazy about pasta that I even watched an entire Korean Drama(twice) called Pasta(which by the way is now free on Hulu) and picked up tips from some of the episodes too!!! Yes - now you know me ;)

My previous PPN entries: PPN216PPN212, PPN200PPN197PPN184, PPN183, PPN181, PPN180, PPN179 & PPN176

And the round ups: PPN216, PPN212, PPN200PPN197PPNR184, PPNR183, PPNR181,PPNR180, PPNR179 & PPNR176

I’m in a happy place right now. I got clarifications to a few questions I have been asking around, for a while now. While life goes on, I realized to my absolute horror that I feel terribly insecure when I have to cook for friends - fearing judgement and failure mostly. I didn’t experiment at all and decided to go the safe route and make some semi-readymade food. While in fact I should have experimented and gotten some really good feedback especially because I value the opinion of this friend.

This dish is very very very tasty per (R)oomie and I so wanted to make this when my friend and her hubby were home to visit - but I didn’t.

Let me quickly walk you through the recipe because its that simple.

What you will need:

Boiled and drained soba noodles

Olive oil - 1 Tsp

Broccoli - 1/4 Cup

Red Pepper - 1/4 Cup

Onion - Thin slices - 1/4 Cup

Sprouts - a handfull

Prepare the Sauce:

Teriyaki sauce - 1 Tbsp or mix Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce in a 1:1 ratio

Honey - 1 Tbsp

Chili Garlic Sauce - 1/2 Tbsp

Mix the above ingredients really well and keep aside.

Soba noodles when put into boiled water take no more than 4 minutes to cook. I love them so much for that. Unlike pasta which takes atleast 15 minutes to cook right  these noodles are healthy and cook super quick.

Heat some pure olive oil in a wok and add all the veggies and saute for 3-4 minutes. You don’t want to cook too long since the fun is when the broccoli is still crunchy.

Add the sauce - you might have to mix it up again because the honey tends to settle at the bottom. If you want to make a vegan version please substitute the honey with sugar, prefarably brown sugar. On medium high let this mix come to a boil - it wont take long maybe 3-4 minutes. Add the noodles and mix really well and take off heat immediately. You’re all done. Serve hot or cold.

This is a place some 12 miles from where I live right now. Very beautiful and serene.

I want to make a picnic happen sometime soon. A cycle, picnic basket, lemonade and all that jazz. ;)

The coastline is absolutely breathtaking.

Enjoy…

Off this goes to Presto Pasta Nights #216 hosted by Ruth :D

I am adding this bit to this post after I watched Jamie Oliver’s ‘Food Revolution’ and it blew me over. That someone so young would have such a strong belief about bringing about a healthy change filled our heart! All that demonstration about the duck feathers and human hair was pretty dramatic and I hope he got his point across. Eat healthy and eat safe people!

I give all credit for putting up this post to (R)oomie. The moment this idea started building up in my head I jumped out of the couch and started working on all the vegetables and worked my way through it. It took a LOT of time and by the time I was done I lost all my appetite for it. But (R)oomie got in on the action from there on and ate it - He ate it through the night and just watching him devour it somehow made up for my lack of appetite. I decided I would blog about it.

Just make this on a weekend or someday you have a lot of time and you need to unwind(if cooking is your way of unwinding that is).

Have I mentioned how much I love pasta? In any form appetisers, main courses maybe even desserts(who knows right?)! Don’t puke just now, since you’re here anyways why don’t you read the post and decide if its fun experimenting with food(pasta in particular)

I boiled and drained 3 sheets of lasanga and kept it aside. If you have some leftover stored in your fridge I’d suggest you use that. The lasanga is for the bottom most layer of this heavenly savoury cake, so you could actually layer it with any shaped pasta you like. How’s that for fun?

I’m really sorry that I didn’t take any pictures while I was doing all the prep because that’s really the time consuming part. Also maybe I should ask you to run 2 extra miles because of all the calories this dish is guilty of. We’ll try to make it work :)

What you will need:

Boiled and drained pasta/lasanga - About a cup, just about enough to layer the bottom 1 inch of your 9” cake baking pan.

Olive oil - 1 Cup and enough to oil the cake pan.

  1. All purpose flour - 1 Cup (To go the healthier route you can replace this with whole wheat flour or other whole grain mixes)
  2. Baking powder - 1/2 Tsp
  3. Baking Soda - 1/4 Tsp
  4. Salt - to taste(Because of the cheese you have to be careful on how much you add)
  5. Sugar - 1 pinch or 1/8 Tsp(Similar to how we add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavour in sweet dishes)
  6. Parmesan cheese - grated 1/4 Cup. You can be bold enough and go to 1/2 Cup but I have a feeling it would be too much.
  7. Paprika powder (optional)

Blanched Veggies of your choice - I blanched carrots, peas and spinach

Roasted Veggies of your choice - I roasted onions and zucchini.(Both were sliced thin and long)

Whisk the above 6/7 dry ingredients in a bowl and keep aside. We are just making sure that the dry ingredients combine well before adding the wet ingredients to it.

The only wet ingredient is the olive oil. Add that to the dry ingredients and mix well and keep aside. If you like you can add some water or some more olive oil to make it a thick semi solid dough like consistency.

The other thing you can do is prepare the veggies on the side. I had blanched carrots, peas, spinach along with roasted/pan fried zucchini, onion.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil your baking dish with olive oil.

Start by layering the boiled and drained pasta (I think using the lasanga layers would give it a kind of a base)

Layer the spinach and veggies over the pasta. Now pour the batter over and spread evenly. Make sure you leave enough space for the cake to rise. This mix rises easily. Bake in the middle rack for 35-40 minutes or till the toothpick comes on clean. I would suggest that you turn the pan around after about 20 min(midway) for even baking. You might find the cake a tad bit oily(duh!) The cake rose quite well but fell soon after but I wouldn’t worry about it, unless anyone could tell me what I did wrong?

I added some heart shaped pasta pieces as a topping/garnish to please the (R)oomie but it wasn’t necessary.

After a really long break Im glad that I can participate in PPN212 hosted by Ruth this week.

Pasta time!

Anytime is pasta time for me! And Presto Pasta Nights gives me a reason to make pasta atleast once a week :) so I’m a yappie’ person.

I’ve been exploring simple sauces for a while now and that’s how this came about. This recipe took very little time(hence the name!) and was very delicious.

What you will need:

Fusilli pasta - 1 cup boiled and drained. I used whole grain variety.

Oil - 1 Tsp

Onion - 1 medium sized, finely sliced (that actually rhymed!)

Soy sauce - low sodium preferably - 1 Tbsp

Honey - 1/4 Tbsp

Chili garlic sauce - 1/2 Tbsp (or less if you like your pasta less spicy) I used the Huy Fong variety which you can get in any local grocery store. Mix the above 3 ingredients and keep aside.

Meanwhile heat some oil in add the finely sliced Onion and fry till it turns golden. Add the above 3 ingredients to the onion and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes. Take off heat. In a separate bowl bring together the pasta and the sauce and mix really well.

Garnish with dried cranberries for a twist in the flavour!

Off this goes to PPN 200 hosted by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. Check it out for some beautiful food photography!

Roundup here!