22 July 2010

Adventures in the kitchen!

Guilty as charged for not having cooked for three days in a row and having eaten junk food all the three days, the cook in me suddenly rose and put up a protest yesterday evening, and finally succeeded in dragging me to the kitchen. And I am glad that I listened to that cook and did not protest back, because in about half an hour I was rewarded with a fork licking dinner!!

So, ladizz and gentlemen, presenting to you today's special: pasta a la colorful!!

Ok, ignore the name, but i must warn you that this recipe I tried out yesterday for dinner was hugely successful and widely appreciated... by me of course!! Anyways, I decided to cook something grand, but what I ended up cooking is super easy, super healthy and super yummy. Killer combination, I think :) And more than the taste I loved the varied colors in the pasta. A feast for the eyes as well. I got out my camera and clicked some pics as well. Anyways, without further ado, here is what I did:

For the pasta sauce:
3 ripe tomatoes
few sweet baby tomatoes, halved
1 small sweet bell pepper
a bunch of basil.. the more the better
4-5 cloves garlic (i used more coz i love garlic)
freshly crushed pepper
some red wine vinegar (opt)
1 tb olive oil

Cut tomatoes finely and put them in a bowl. Cut the peppers finely and send them off to give company to the tomatoes. Finely chop the garlic, chiffonade the basil and add them to the bowl. If you like your pasta tangy, as I do, add about 2-3 teaspoons of red wine vinegar (I am thinking lemon or any other vinegar will do as well). Add the pepper, salt, olive oil and give all this a good mix. Cover it, and let it sit in the refrigerator for sometime. It is important to use fresh, high quality tomatoes and basil as they are the main ingredients. I generally buy my groceries at the farmers market here, and so the quality and taste is a LOT better than what you get at walmart and other grocery stores.

Pasta sauce:

Meanwhile, I cut up some zucchini and yellow squash I had and coated it with little olive oil, garlic and pepper. Broil it till the veggies turn little brown and crisp. I also added some green peppers and baby tomatoes. (though, I wouldn't broil the tomatoes the next time... I think the baby tomatoes taste better raw than grilled.) . Once grilled, let the veggies cool down a little bit and then sprinkle a little salt over them. I did not add any salt while grilling as the veggies ooze out water and become soft, which I don't like.

Cut veggies ready to be grilled:

Also, Put a pot of water to boil and cook some spaghetti in it, as per the box instructions. Once done, drain and keep aside. Now mix the cooked pasta in the prepared pasta sauce, topped with some fresh cut basil, more crushed pepper (and cheese if you like). Serve with grilled veggies on the side. Mixing the veggies in the pasta will make them soggy, so I prefer them on the side.

Once you do this, well, what are you waiting for, sink the fork in the pasta and tuck in :).


nightflier said...

I just LOVE all the colours!
and the basil + garlic combo is so fantastic! mooh mein paani aa gaya :)
Wait I rather make this for myself ;)

Mansi said...

awesome stuff!! :)did u come up with the idea urself?
i usually never buy zuchinni as a part of my grocery, so curious...

Neha said...

@nightflier..thank you!!
@mansi..thanks! actually the tomato, basil, garlic combo is a base of most italian dishes.. and i add to it whatver i have at hand.. zucchini goes well with pasta, and is one thing always available at the markets here, so i end up buying it most of the times :)