Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Three colours of libertà - Happy Independence Day

August 15, 2015... For once, as my family and I sat listening to Prime Minister's Independence Day speech, there was no special anticipation for the day that stretched in front of us. Usually our National Holidays are planned well in advance - picnic, visiting friends, barbeque in sun (that has to be 26th January obviously) and much more.

This Independence Day dawned with no special plans. The morning tea was an unusually leisurely affair that day. Boredom threatened to set in.

What's for lunch, came the question from my daughter. Thus started the discussion.
Rajma Rice, Poori Aloo, Bread Pakore, Dosa, Noodles - we moved across various cuisines rather effortlessly, but could not decide on anything that everyone would agree on.

I lounged on the sofa, not participating in the discussion, except for when they would come up with an option, which was practically not possible to prepare that day - either due to unavailability of ingredients, or because the dish took a long time to cook.
I find deciding what to cook, almost as much a task as the cooking itself.

Then came the option of Pasta. I liked that idea.
I had a packet of Del Monte Pasta with me, thanks to Del Monte and Indiblogger. I had been procrastinating on it for a couple of weeks and the deadline was approaching.
I gave my Aye to this option.

Which pasta? Another decision to be made.
Red, White, Green Pesto???
We even considered experimenting with a new flavour - Chinese flavoured, with soya sauce, etc. Luckily (or may be not) we gave up on the last idea. May be some other day though.

Why not all three, came the suggestion from my son. The previous year, on Independence day, we had tried tricolour Pooris, and everyone had loved them.

How about Tricolored Pasta this year?

Four nods and the menu was set for the day.

Would it spoil the suspense if I reveal the end results first? I think not. And I just cannot resist sharing them now...


The Three Colors of Pasta

Happy Independence Day - Foodie Style

We couldn't think of anything edible in blue to make a semblance of ashoka chakra in the centre. Any suggestions for the same are welcome. Do mention them in the comments below.

Anyway we did try to make one with green but gave up on the idea. Here's a capture of the effort though.

Tricolor Pasta. The Ashoka Chakra not right though.

Okay, back to the beginning now.

The start of this was the Pasta that I received. Thanks Indiblogger and Del Monte!


Happy Cooking... from Del Monte and Indiblogger

Ready for cooking... Del Monte Pasta


To the Penne sent to me, I added Spirali too. At my home, everyone loves at least two types of Pastas mixed together. I do wonder if it is the 'right' thing to do. 
The fact that we like it this way does make it right for us, I think.

*  *  *

So I started with the red sauce. Here's how I made it.

Red Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:
Tomatoes (Ripe and Red) - 500g
Tomato Puree - 1 tbsp
Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/3 tsp (or to taste)
Black pepper - 1/4tsp
Basil leaves -5-6
Olive oil - 1tsp

Method:

Blanch the tomatoes. 

Tomatoes - soft and blanched (Ready for the next step)

Peel them. Keep a couple of them aside to coarsely chop and add later. Puree the rest of the blanched tomatoes.

Tomatoes - Blanched and Pureed (ready to be made into Red Pasta Sauce)


In a pan, heat a little oil and add the pureed tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes. 

Blanched, pureed tomoatoes in pan for cooking (Red Pasta in making)

Then add the coarsely chopped tomatoes and a couple to teaspoons of readymade tomato puree. (This puree gives a bright colour to the pasta sauce and also gives it a tangier flavor). 

Packed Puree added. Visual treat under preparation. Red Pasta coming up.

Add salt, black pepper and oreganos, and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Spice up the sauce. Red Pasta in the making.

Add finely chopped basil leaves. 
(Although I always add basil leaves to the red pasta sauce I make, this once I seriously considered omitting it, because I was aiming for three distinct colours. In the end I did add it. The basil leaves are not visible in the red sauce but add to the flavour and texture)

*  *  *

White Pasta Sauce 

Ingredients:

Olive oil - 1tsp
Butter - 1tsp
Garlic (chopped) - 2-3 cloves
Onion (chopped) - 1 small
Mushrooms (chopped) - 100g
Golden corn - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup
Fresh cream - 1tbsp

Method:

For the white sauce, heat a little butter and olive oil in a pan. 

Oil and butter join hands to make the sauce for White Pasta


Add garlic and then onion. Saute a little. 

Garlic and Onion are ready to be sauteed into the White Pasta


Then add chopped mushrooms and golden corn. 


Mushroom and Corn - My family's favourites in White Pasta


Cook for a couple of minutes, before adding milk. Let the milk boil. Add salt and black pepper. Add cream and remove the sauce from heat as soon as it starts boiling.

Milk and Cream give colour, taste and perfect consistency to the White Pasta Sauce

*  *  *

Green Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

Basil Leaves - 50g
Walnuts - 5-6
Olive oil - 1tbsp
Garlic cloves - 2

Method:

Churn all the ingredients in the grinder and the sauce for the green pasta is ready.

*  *  *


The pasta is boiled, the sauces ready and the vegetable chopped...


Ingredients for the Tricolor Pasta - Ready to be brought together
For the red pasta, I decided to add finely chopped carrot and red pepper.

Since I had already added mushrooms and corn in the white sauce, there was no need to add any more vegetables.

For the green pasta, I had chopped spinach and blanched brocolli ready.

*  *  *

Red Pasta


Ingredients:

Red Pasta Sauce - 1 cup
Boiled and Drained Pasta - 2 cups
Finely chopped carrot - 1tbsp
Finely chopped red pepper - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 1/2 tsp


Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Add carrot and red pepper and saute for about 1 minute.

Adding crunch and redness to the Pasta - carrot and bell pepper

Add the boiled Pasta. Pour the sauce of on it. Mix properly.

Coming together in all its' red glory - The Red Pasta

*  *  *

White Pasta


Ingredients:
White Pasta Sauce - 1 1/2 cups
Boiled and Drained Pasta - 2 cups
Grated cheese - 1 tbsp


Method:
In a pan, take the boiled pasta and add the white sauce to it.

Pasta, White sauce with veggies - come together


Add grated cheese, mix and cook for a minute.

The white beauty - ready to be served

*  *  *

Green Pasta

Ingredients:

Spinach (chopped) - 1 tbsp
Brocolli (blanced) - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 1tsp
Pasta (Boiled and Drained) - 2 cups
Green Pasta Sauce - 3/4 cup


Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Add spinach and brocolli. Saute for 1 minute.

Health in a pan - Spinach and Brocolli

Add Pasta and the sauce. Mix well.


Green and Shiny - the 3rd in the trio

*  *  *

The three pastas and ready to be plated.


Red, White, Green - Before they came together

Red, White, Green - the three colours waiting to meet


*  *  *

Once the three pastas were ready, I sat back and enjoyed watching everyone else arranging the three colours in the bowl. 

Here are the results. Once again :)

Tricolour Pasta - Dig in

Once the pictures were clicked of the pasta with three distinct colours showing, I did grate some cheese on it, heated it in the microwave, poured some juice in a glass...


Pasta and Cheese and Juice - Good Food :)



And as Italians would say -

Felice Giorno Dell'indipendenza



Happy Independence Day











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