Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mint Pasta | Lunch Box Series

So like i have written before, since pasta is simple to make and is packed with vegetables, good fat and flavors, it makes a weekly appearance in the lunch box. It is a one pot meal that i can never tire of. Each week it is a different shape and a different sauce.
This week, there was mint in the fridge, left over after making mint chutney. There was the spiralli pasta and some assorted vegetables.
Short of other ideas for the dabba, it was decided that the next day would be the "pasta day". I have never really put too much thought at the measures of ingredients that go into the pasta. It was a learning by trial and error and i continue to cook the same way. I tried to keep a track of what all goes in and in how much quantity in order to write out the recipe. Difficulty level is medium. Anybody who is quick with the knife and can taste and adjust flavors can make decent pasta! And trust me you, once you start making it by yourself, you would never shell out that crazy amount in the restaurants for a single serving of pasta!

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes


1 1/2 cups Pasta of your choice
Water to boil the pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 capsicum, finely chopped
5-6 baby corns, sliced into rounds
1 large carrot, cubed
Salt to taste
1 tbsp cream
1 tbsp cheese spread
1 tsp Pasta Seasoning/ Oregano

For the sauce:

3 large tomatoes
1/2 cup of mint leaves
5-6 pods of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a pot with sufficient water to boil. Add a tsp of salt and a tsp of oil to it. Into the boiling water, add the pasta. Cover, and cook.
On the side, chop and microwave the vegetables that need cooking- the carrot and baby corn here with some water and salt for two mins.

While they are cooking, place the ingredients for the sauce in a mixer and grind well.

Stir the pasta in between and keep checking to see if done. It should be cooked al dente. Takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the brand. Check the instructions on the pack to get a better idea.
Strain it through a colander. Save about half cup of pasta water. Now run cold water on the colander.

In a pan, heat some olive oil and add the chopped capsicum. Fry. By then, the vegetables should be done in the microwave. Add the veggies to the capsicum and stir.

Now add the prepared sauce into the vegetables. Cover and cook for a minute or two. Add the cream and the cheese. I used the Britania Mexican Chilly spread here. While adding salt in any step, be mindful of the salt in the cheese. You can add more cheese if you want a richer, creamier pasta.
Stir in the pasta into it and gently toss, without breaking the pasta.
Add the pasta water to get some more sauce into the pasta. You could add some skimmed milk too. Toss well.
Top with some oregano or the seasoning that comes along with the pizzas, in case you have any.
Serve hot, or pack it for the dabba. I like it both hot and cold!

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