The variations for this recipe are immense. Vary the pasta, the vegetables, and even the sauces and it will be a different meal every time. You can also change it to a non-vegetarian dish by adding sliced sausages, or mince or even some sea-food like prawns. Substitute the wheat pasta with any widely available Gluten-free pasta and Komal this could be your favourite recipe! A versatile dish indeed.
Pasta and it's many variations પાસ્તા
- 250 g Dried Pasta of your choice
- 3 tbsp Good Virgin Olive oil
- 2 Large Onions Finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic Finely chopped
- 1-2 green chillis optional
- 150-200 g vegetables. Use a combination of one or two only. mushrooms/corn/chopped baby spinach/red peppers/other coloured peppers
- 3-4 tbsp pesto Bought or home-made. red or green
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes or 200g fresh ripe tomatoes, finely chopped or tomato pulp if preferred
- 100 ml red or white wine optional
- Bunch of fresh basil to garnish
- 50 g Cheese Cheddar/parmesan. For Garnish
For the Pasta
- Using a big and wide saucepan boil about 4 liter of water and add a stock cube for an enhanced flavour.
- When the water starts boiling, add the pasta. The water volume should be at least twice the volume of pasta. Stir occasionally to avoid the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Cook according to the packet for al Dante.
- Drain off the water and add the pasta to the sauce.You can keep some of this water aside to add to the sauce if required later. Add the pasta in stages, if you think there is not enough sauce for the pasta then put aside the cooked pasta for a different dish (e.g., cold pasta salad).
For the Sauce. You can make extra and store the remainder in the fridge.
- Heat up the oil and gently sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
- Add the vegetables and sauté further. Cover and let the vegetables cook for a couple of minutes. If using chilies, add them here.
- If adding the mushrooms, add the salt at the end and make the sauce just before the pasta is cooked. The mushrooms release a lot of water and if the sauce is made too early, th pasta will become watery and the mushrooms will lose their crunchiness. Another method is to add the tomatoes soon after the mushrooms are sautéed. The tomatoes arrest further cooking of the mushrooms.
- Add the pesto and the other seasonings, mix well. The wine and basil can be added at this stage.
- Add the puree and the tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
- Always add the pasta just before serving so that the dish remains saucy and the pasta does not soak up all the liquid of the sauce.
- Sprinkle the cheese for garnish and serve immediately,
- Replace the tomato sauce with white sauce(with or without cheese).
- Changing the pesto will also alter the taste.
- The white sauce and the tomato sauces can be used with various blanched vegetables to create a tasty lasagna.
- Just adding a tasty cream cheese and olive oil to freshly boiled pasta is also delicious and quick!