Vegetarian Pasta with red sauce

It is just so amazing to have fantastic friends who adore and love food just like you do 😉 And then when you have the Italian delicacies by your side, its time to try something new and adventurous. Here is an amazing pasta that I would highly recommend to anyone who loves the blend of all textures and tastes in a dish. I don’t remember who, but one of my international friends once told me that her mom ensured that all the dishes she made would have a touch of all the tastes, because this is what creates the amazing tingle for all the taste buds in the mouth and is by far the best tasting food.

For this pasta, I saved adding sugar for I didn’t quite feel comfortable enough to venture out that far into the ‘food-adventure’ zone. Enough of talking, lets get going 🙂

Cooking time: 10 minutes; Preparation time: 15 minutes; Serves: 2 adults

Ingredients: 

  1. 3-4 handful of fusilli pasta
  2. 6 table spoons of Sacla’s Parmigiana sauce (http://www.sacla.com/download/pdf/prodotti/2012sacla_catalogo_sughi.pdf)
  3. 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  5. 2 cups brown-mushrooms, cut into small pieces
  6. 1 zuccini, chopped into cubes of 1cm * 1cm (The idea here is to just chop the zuccini into small pieces)
  7. 4 tbsp apple vinegar
  8. 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
  9. 1/2 table spoon lemon zest
  10. 3 litres water
  11. salt, black pepper and olive oil
  12. 2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts

Method: 

Boil 3 litres of water with 1 tsp of salt, 2 tsp olive oil and add 3-4 handful of fusilli pasta to it till the pasta is cooked just about. My Italian friend told me that pasta feels better when it is left just a little hard in the centre, and trust me it does. So don’t overcook and don’t undercook. It is really a fine balance and I will leave it to you to figure out what tastes best to your taste buds. Best way to check it is to take out one pasta when its boiling and try eating it. If you feel its cooked, drain the water out for the rest of boiling pasta and keep the pasta aside. Do not wash the pasta under water after draining so that the salt can stay inside.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic. Stir fry till the onions are nice brown. Add the zuccini and mushrooms and stir nicely. Adjust the flame in the beginning and lower it a bit till the mushrooms and zuccini start releasing water. When the water starts oozing out, increase the flame again. Add the vinegar to this and keep stirring until the zuccini is nicely cooked and has turned translucent in colour.

Now add the boiled pasta and take the pan off flame. Stir fry nicely. Add the Parmigiana sauce, parmesan, 1 tsp salt (adjust to your taste) and 0.5 tsp black pepper. Mix well. Ensure that you do this all very quickly so that the pasta stays hot. Finally add the lemon zest.

Serve hot with a dash of extra parmesan on top and covered with fresh roasted pine nuts !

2013-08-31 15.53.02Enjoy and enjoy more !!

Minced soya

Almost all of my non-vegetarian friends have asked me on how do vegetarians get their proteins 🙂 Well, this is one of the secrets to get proteins. ‘Soyabeans’ are highly rich in protein-content, and minced soya cooked like the one below is an absolute delicacy to eat with chapati(s) and cucumber raita.

Cooking time: 15 minutes; Preparation time: 10 minutes; Serves: 2-3 adults

Image

Ingredients: 

  1. 5-6 handful of minced soya
  2. 1 pan full water
  3. 1.5 onions, finely chopped
  4. 1 tomato, finely chopped
  5. 1 cup, green peas
  6. 4 tablespoons oil to cook (preferably mustard oil)
  7. 1 tsp – Pav Bhaji masala
  8. 3/4th tsp garam masala
  9. salt, red chilli powder to taste

Method:

Boil water in a pan and take off heat. Add the minced soya to the hot water and let the soya soak. In a pan, add the oil and let it heat nicely. Add the chopped onions and fry till almost brown. Add chopped tomatoes and stir fry nicely. Add the peas and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the chilli powder. Mix well. Drain the water from the soya and press to remove any extra water. Mix the soya with the onion, tomato mixture. Mix everything nicely. Add salt and garam masala. Mix well. Finely add the pav bhaji masala. Stir fry till the water has dried out.

Serve hot with chapati(s) and cucumber raita !! 🙂 You are always welcome to eat minced soya with other combinations 🙂 Stay healthy and happy.