Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Two pasta posts in a row!! I guess it means that I'm becoming more open minded about pasta OR that I haven't had the time to stock up on chapatis and rice, and am digging into the pantry to feed myself :)
I found a box of rigatoni, and wondered what I could have that would satisfy my hunger for a sufficient amount of time and be sufficiently light (not heavy or greasy) to eat and not time consuming to cook. Quick search on the food network site yielded this recipe for vegetarian bolognaise.
One look at the recipe will tell you that it needed far too many ingredients for someone who was looking for a quick dish with whatever was on hand. So with the look and texture of that dish in mind, I set about creating my own:
First, I put a pot of water to boil as I scrounged about for ingredients.
Spotted in the fridge: Dying Basil, Eggs, Mushrooms, Mysterious anaheim-like mild chilli, crookneck squash. The last two ingredients were courtesy of a generous freecycler who shared some organic veggies over the weekend.
So, here's what I used:
Rigatoni -- 1/2 pound (dry)
Olive Oil -- 1 tbsp
Ajwain/Bishop's weed/Carrom seed -- 1/2 tsp
Garlic powder -- 1/2 tsp (substitute 2-3 cloves fresh minced garlic if available)
Basil -- 2 tbsp finely minced (I used leaves and stalk)
Sweet onion (or any onion) -- 1/2 medium very finely diced/minced
Pepper (use any mild variety or bell pepper) -- 1/3 cup finely diced/minced
Crookneck squash (or any summer squash) -- 3/4 cup finely minced
**I peeled these since the skins were very muddy, you could choose to keep the skin on...I used 2 small squashes, 1 medium should have the same yield
White button mushrooms-- 3/4 cup finely diced/minced (I used 5 large mushrooms)
Eggs -- 2 whole or 3 whites
Tomato Paste -- 1 6oz can
Wine -- 1/2 cup (I used cabernet, use whatever you have)
Salt -- 3/4 tsp
Black Pepper -- 1/2 tsp
Powdered Cloves -- 1/4 tsp
Red chilli flakes -- 1 little sachet or 1tsp (I used leftover from take-out pizza)
Parmesan shavings to garnish.
How I made it:
Kept an eye on the pot of water and tossed in the rigatoni when it came to a rolling boil. You can add salt to the water before you add pasta, but I prefer mine unsalted. The package said it should take 10-11 minutes for the pasta to become al-dente.
In the meantime, I finely diced all the vegetables and herbs (into 3 mm or 1/4 inch cubes) If you have a food processor you could just pulse everything a couple of times until they are crushed...I needed the release..so I did the mincing by hand :D
Warmed the olive oil in a copper bottom stainless steel pan, and then tossed in the 'vaghaar' (tempering) of ajwain, garlic powder, half the basil, the peppers and onion. Sauted until translucent, and added the remainging veggies (mushrooms and squash) ...sprinkled a pinch of salt to aid the cooking. Sauted for 2 more minutes until mushrooms started to release their brown juices. Added the wine, covered and simmered for a minute.
Took off lid, turned up heat to maximum and cracked the two eggs into the cooking vegetables..sprinkled salt, pepper and clove powder over the eggs and turned off heat for a minute..scrambled the eggs and turned heat back on. Mixed everything vigorously. Added remaining salt, pepper and basil, and the tomato paste. Mixed well and added water (I cleaned out the paste can and added about a tiny 6 oz canfull)
** You can add more water (about 2 tbsp at a time) to achieve desired thickness and to ensure mixture isn't sticking to the pan. Check taste. Add a teaspoon or so of sugar if the sauce seems too tart. Adjust taste by adding salt/ pepper/more herbs as desired
Turned off the heat and drained pasta saving about 1/3 cup of liquid. I took out half the pasta and mixed in half the sauce with cooking liquid and warmed the mixture through. Served it garnished with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.
Verdict: I enjoyed this meal. The addition of protein in the form of eggs made it very satisfying. The texture and thickness of the sauce filled the rigatoni tubes really well, and made this a comfortable 'working lunch' where I didn't have to worry about anything spilling onto my desk or keyboard. The goodness of the veggies came through really well. I will surely make this again!!
Since the meal took all of 20 minutes to put together...it could qualify for the 'express cooking' event at Mallugirl's Blog.
PS: This blog only has low-resolution photos for the time being.
- ▼ 2007 (11)