It was 'Raksha Bandhan '( A festival in India to celebrate Sibling Love) and my daughter wanted me to make my son's favourite dish 'Pasta'. I was busy baking a cake for the occasion ... so told her that I would make a simple pasta on the condition that she would cut all the vegetables , she wanted in the pasta....
Like a good girl, she sliced all vegetables neatly and gave it to me in a bowl. I thought of a simple yet flavourful pasta with these neatly cut vegetables ...' A Spicy Salad Pasta'.
With just a few ingredients and 15 minutes of baking/ cooking time... Your pasta is ready !
Spicy Salad Pasta:
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Measurement : 1 cup = 250 ml
Vessel Required : 950 ml Casserole
For the Salad:
1. 'Al dente' boiled Pasta -1 cup ( I used Del Monte Penne Pasta)
2. Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
3. Chilli flakes -1 teaspoon
4. Oregano - 1 teaspoon
5. Vegetables - Sliced, of your choice ( I used zucchini, red ,yellow bell peppers, green chillies)
6. Apple Cidar Vinegar -2 tablespoons( you can use regular vinegar also)
7. Sunflower seeds - 1 teaspoon
8. Salt to taste
For the white sauce :
1. Corn Flour ( not starch) -1 heaped teaspoon ( I used organic Cornflour)
2. Salted Butter -1 teaspoon
3. Milk / Soy Milk /Coconut Milk / Almond Milk - 1 cup ( adjust)
4.Mozzarella Cheese slices - 1/4 cup ( optional )
5. Crushed Peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon
6. Salt to taste
7. Fresh herbs that are available - finely chopped ( adjust quantity to taste)
1. Add all the thinly sliced vegetables in a large bowl. Add vinegar, chilli flakes, herbs ,salt and oil.
2. Toss and mix well.
3. Boil pasta in salt water for 7 to 8 minutes , drain in a colander and add it to the vegetable bowl.
4. Using a spoon or tongs, toss them well to coat the pasta uniformly with the vinegratte. Close the bowl and let it marinate for about half an hour or a little more ( if you have the time ).
5. After half an hour, prepare the sauce. Take a heavy bottom medium size pan. First add butter. When the butter starts to melt add the corn flour and whisk continously using a ladle or wire whisk so that no lumps are formed. Just after half a minute, add two tablespoons of milk and mix again. When the sauce begins to thicken, add the remaining milk.
6. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the cheese, pepper corns and salt.
7. Add little extra milk if the sauce is too thick. When the cheese melts, switch off. The sauce should be in pouring consistency. Switch off and add the finely chopped fresh herbs.
8. Pour it on top of the marinated Salad Pasta and serve immediately. I covered the bowl with foil and baked the pasta in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C . I placed the bowl in the middle rack.
Whether you bake the pasta or serve it just like that..it tastes so different from our regular tomato pasta. I am so glad that I have created yet another new variant in my Savoury Pasta Collection. Quick ,easy and healthy !
Chef Tips :
1.I did not have time for marination, so had baked the pasta. If you have time, do marinate it for longer time. Infact you can marinate in the morning and leave it in your refrigerator. When you are back from office, just make the sauce , pour it on the pasta and serve. As easy as that!!
2. Adjust the heat according to your taste.
3. You can add crushed garlic or half teaspoon of garlic powder if you like garlic.
4. For a complete Vegan Option use Soy Milk/ Coconut or Almond Milk.
5. You can use Vegan Cheese ( Chick pea tofu or Soy Tofu)