Pasta with veggies

Pasta is an important and inevitable part of traditional Italian Cuisine.  Even more, I believe Pasta symbolises entire Italian cuisine.  Here are some brief facts on Pasta.  

  • Pasta is basically made of hard Durum wheat flour mixed with water and egg to make sheets or various shapes and sizes.
  • In Italy, Pastas are broadly classified into two forms, Dried: Pasta Secca and Fresh: Pasta Fresca.
  • Dried ones are commercially produced or factory made and fresh ones are traditionally handmade at homes. 

Both Pasta Secca and Pasta Fresca can be cooked in three ways: by cooking in sauce of choice- Pastasciutta, Pasta in Brodo- being part of a soup like dish and the third, where the pasta can be baked- Pasta Al Forno.

Pasta is my all time favourite dish.  At the eleventh hour, when you have no options left but to cook and you are craving for some really yummy fast dish, believe me pasta is the best option.  Just boil the pasta till it is neither soft nor hard i.e. cooked until firm to bite (Al dente) and then toss it with the sauce of your choice with a sprinkle of grated cheese over the top.  Your pasta is ready.

Today I am sharing with you the recipe of a healthy version of pasta tossed with my choicest veggies.  It is a very simple and easy recipe.

Preparation time: 05 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

ingredients

  • 1 cup Pasta (any variant, I am using Rotini)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 big cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • Salt
  • ¼ tsp Chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Mixed herbs
  • 1 cup of Cherry tomatoes or 2 salad tomatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh vegetables (like Red bell pepper, Yellow bell pepper, Green capsicum, Broccoli, Baby corn, mushroom etc.)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan (or processed cheese)
  • 2 tsp chopped Parsley (optional)

DIRECTIONS

first we cook the pasta....

  1. Place a sauce pan half filled with water over the stove and add 1 tsp of salt to it. Turn on the heat and bring the water to full rolling boil.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and keep stirring. 
  3. Check after 1 to 2 minutes. Cook till it is Al dente (as mentioned above).
  4. Save a scoop of pasta water for later use and drain the remaining water.

then....

  1. Place a skillet over the stove in high flames.  Add olive oil, minced garlic and reduce the flames.
  2. After 30 seconds add sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Wait till the tomatoes ooze out juice and turn the oil orange in colour.
  3. Then add mixed herbs and chilli flakes. Add all the vegetables and keep stirring in medium flames for two minutes.
  4. Add 2 tsp of the pasta water.  Add the cooked pasta and toss gently to infuse all the flavours in it.
  5. Turn off the heat and sprinkle freshly grated cheese on the top.  Your pasta is ready to be served.

TIPS:

  1. While cooking the pasta do not add oil into water.  Oil will prevent the pasta from getting a nice coating of the sauce and flavours.
  2. Do not rinse the pasta with cold water when it is done cooking. It washes off all the starch which helps bind with the sauce.
  3. Vegetables used here are optional, whatever readily available may be used. Just chop the vegetables into medium sized chunks.
  4. This is absolutely my little touch which I follow sometime and the result comes out pretty well:  Before adding the pasta add 2 tsp of tomato sauce (either homemade or packaged). This uplifts the tastes and I love it a bit tangy.

This recipe is very easy yet equally tasty.  The best part is that most of the ingredients are always available at our kitchen pantry.  So, give it a shot and do send me your feedbacks. Happy eating!!!

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