Monday, October 29, 2012

Veg Cheesy Pasta

Quick and Easy meal – Veg Cheesy Pasta

Anything with Cheese in it is good in my book. In my attempt to replicate the recipes of all my favorite junk foods in my own kitchen, I tried to make the kind of pasta we shell out good money for, at Pizza Hut or Dominos. Was the end result as good as their stuff? You decide! All I can say is, it was all gone soon after I served it and the dear husband says he thinks about eating this when he is at work. Now that is a good enough compliment for me!

It’s a bonus when something that tastes as good as this is quick and easy to cook, AND is quite healthy too. This pasta dish keeps me fuller for longer because of its high carbohydrate content. The milk and cheese in the recipie are good sources of protein and calcium while the other ingredients supplement this recipe with iron, folic acid, fibre and vitamin C. Besides, it is SO easy to put together.

Heres What you’ll need :-

2 cups pasta (I used fusilli)

2 tsp Olive oil

Enough water to cook pasta
onion, sliced
1/2 cup capsicum, sliced

½ cup carrots, sliced
½ cup sliced mushrooms, optional
1 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
1 cup milk (Skimmed milk works too)
cheese cubes ( you could use cheese slices if that’s what you have at hand)
2 Maggi Magic cubes or 1 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp refined flour/maida (corn flour works too, if you dissolve it in some milk and use it as instructed below)
1 tsp Oregano -  This is where those little Oregano packets that I get with Pizza
 came handy
1 tsp butter
salt and black pepper powder to taste

Method :-

1.      Bring the water to a boil and add around 2 tsps of salt. Add the pasta and let it cook. I am not in favor of adding a little olive oil to the boiling water as many recipies would suggest. Pasta seemed to take on flavors better when I didn’t add oil while cooking it.

2.      You can taste the pasta to know if its done. It should be firm without a hint of rawness. This took around 15 minutes.

3.      While the pasta is cooking, you could prep the vegetables. Begin by heating 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté the onions in it till they lose the raw smell. When the onions are soft and transluscent, add the carrots and capsicum. You need these to remain crisp, so don’t cook them too much. Any other vegetables like corn, spinach can be added. Just ensure that they aren’t overcooked.

4.      Add powdered Maggi Magic cubes. If you have vegetable stock, you could use it. Maggi Magic cubes are just stock cubes.They are salty, so do taste the dish before you season it with salt.

5.      Add the milk and cheese slices/ finely chopped cheese cubes and bring to a boil. When that’s boiling, make a runny paste of 1 tsp of refined flour and water or milk. This mixture needs to be without lumps. Add this to the boiling milk and vegetables. Stir while adding so that lumps aren’t formed. 

Alternatively, you could heat a tsp of butter and add the refined flour to it. Cook it till it loses the raw smell. This is done on low heat so that the refined flour dosent burn.

6.      I have tried both, the butter-refined flour mix and the milk-refined flour mix. Flavor wise, it didn’t really make that much of a difference.
It gives the whole white sauce a thickness good enough to coat the pasta well.

7.       By now the pasta would be cooked so drain it. Add the cooked pasta in the sauce and bring to a boil. Toss the pasta well so that all of it is coated in the sauce.

  If you're not too fussy, you could top it up with some more grated cheese. Hey, you only live once!

(Note: If the pasta thickens before serving you could add a little warm milk to it.)

Gobble up!

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