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Friday, December 30, 2011

Baked Dish- Macaroni and Vegetables

Just bought a packet of macaroni and have been longing to cook for somebody, which friend to invite? Has to be some-one who enjoys my food and is not too critical, not that I am shy of critiques, but I like to cook at my own pace and if somebody is watching and expecting me to create a competitive dish, I am sure to disappoint. Some of my friends (and family too) know that I cannot cook the same dish twice, even if I followed the recipe to the point, word by word  (but hey, what are friends for,) if they can forgive me for a bad dish and enjoy the dish that I have made especially for them, I am most willing to experiment. After all, the main ingredients that we use in every cooking is always  love and interest, so understand that if I love you and I am really interested in impressing you , I am sure to cook a tasty meal for you..go figure….

Pastas of any kind if mixed with vegetables can make a complete meal, and it’s is used all around the world. There were records of pasta in Italy 500 years before Marco Polo returned from China.

Pasta is science and an art. Everybody had their own style of cooking the pasta to suit their palate. You can call it by different name; it’s just to identify it by its shape. Visit Europe and you discover spaghetti, gnocchi, tagliatellea, ravioli, vincisgrassi, strascinati, fancy names with sexy curves of pasta, each with an identity of its own.  Travel to Asia, and you have noodles of all shapes with an amazing history of its own. Americans not only cook bad pasta but they also use wrong sauce with noodle. Many are confused as to which sauce could match with which type of pasta.

Have you sometimes floundered as to when to add salt? How much to boil? Sometimes it’s too soggy, sometimes too raw and sometimes an embarrassment. Such knowledge cannot be achieved by reading encyclopedia of pastas, all we need is to wear our apron and discover it our self. With experience we learn and with every recipe we discover how to improve it the next time.

Ah well, all I care is that I need to eat the pasta that will suit my palate. So this week I dared to make pasta again and it behaved. I know it did because I saw my guests go for second helping…….

Step 1

Collect all the ingredients:

1 cup macaroni
1 tbsp olive oil
2 pods garlic (grated)
3 green chilies (cut slant wise)
200 grams Mushrooms (chopped)
1 medium carrot (thinly diced)
100 grams corn
1 medium Capsicum (diced)
10-12 leaves Spinach
20 grams baby tomatoes
20grams olives
20 grams white cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped spring onions
1 tbsp white flour
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Step 2

1.     Boil the pasta adding salt and oil,
2.     Add in 1 cup of cold water.
3.      Keep it aside

Step 3

1.     In a pan, stir fry garlic and green chilies in olive oil
2.     Add mushroom and mix,
3.     Add carrots, corn, capsicum
4.     Strain the macaronis  and add to the pan, stir it lightly
5.     And add spinach and salt. Mix it well.
6.     Transfer it to a baking dish.
7.     Garnish with baby tomatoes, olives and white cheese.

Step 4

1.     Stir fry spring onions in butter.
2.     Add white flour and roast a little.
3.     Add milk.
4.     Add cheese.
5.     Stir till white sauce is creamy.
6.     Pour it in the baking dish on the top of pasta and vegetables.

Step 5

Bake it for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.

Serve it with garlic bread and a glass of orange juice.


Ansh said...

Excellent step by step instruction! Great write up as usual Di :)

pushpee said...

Thank you dear :))

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