Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Penne Pasta

Hi Friends, after a short break I am back here with a Italian dish “Pasta” which is very famous word. In my home almost in every week one night menu should be Pasta. Of course, after marriage and after coming to US only I came to know about this.So let us just have a look at how this pasta came into existence and some of the different varieties of pasta we have. 
Source Adapted from: Wikipedia
Pasta is a generic term for foods made from an unleavened dough  of wheat or  buckwheat, flour and water, sometimes with other ingredients such as eggs and vegetable extracts. Pastas include noodles in various lengths, widths and shapes, and varieties that are filled with other ingredients like ravioli and tortellini. The word pasta is also used to refer to dishes in which pasta products are a primary ingredient. It is usually served with sauce. There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names. Examples include spaghetti (thin rods), macaroni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Two other noodles, gnocchi  and spätzle, are sometimes considered pasta. They are both traditional in parts of Italy. There are different varieties of Pasta, I am writing the recipe for Penne Pasta. Penne (pronounced /ˈpɛni/ [UK], or /ˈpɛneɪ/ [US]) is a type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces. Penne is the plural form of the Italianpenna, deriving from Latin penne (meaning "feather" or "quill"). Penne is a popular ingredient in pasta salads. Penne makes excellent and versatile pasta for many applications because of its very practical design. The hollow centre allows it to hold sauce, while the angular ends act as scoops.Even though there are different varieties of preparing the dishes with different pasta shapes. Below is one recipe which I follow: 

Pasta – 1 small packet (basically of any shape, I used Penne Pasta shape) 
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Carrots – 2  medium sized cut into small pieces of 1” inch length 
Tofu – 1 small square block cut into small cubes like paneer cubes. 
Onion -1 medium sized cut into small pieces .
Pasta Sauce – 1 cup (there are many varieties of this available in market; I used Classico Brand (Tomato & Basil flavour).
Black pepper  - crushed 1 tsp 
Black Olives – 8 (I Used TJ’s Black ripened Olives )

Method to cook Pasta: 

·  Take a large vessel and fill with water. The more the better - pasta only sticks when cooked in too little water.
·  Add salt. Salt makes pasta taste better,
·  Bring the water to a rolling boil. This means a boil you can't stop by stirring.
·  Measure the pasta you need. Pasta generally doubles in size when cooked, so 1 cup uncooked = 2 cups cooked.
·  Slowly add the pasta to the boiling water. Ideally, the water shouldn't stop boiling, but if that happens, it's ok.
·  Stir and stir some more! Pasta will stick together if it isn't stirred during the crucial first moments of cooking.
·   Most pastas cook in 8-12 minutes.
·  You can regulate the heat so the pasta/water mixture doesn't foam up and over the vessel sides.
·  Really the only way to tell if the pasta is correctly cooked is to taste it. It should be firm, yet tender, with a tiny core in the middle.
·  Now drain the pasta and remove the water from it and shake off excess water.
·  Add 1 tsp of Olive Oil to the boiled pasta and closed the lid over the pasta.
·  This normally makes the pasta shapes resist without sticking with each other.

Cooking the Sauce:

·   Take another pan and add ½ tbsp of Olive Oil, make sure that olive oil shouldn’t be too hot at any given point of time.
·  Add Onions and sauté them till the time onions colour turns to slight pink colour and becomes transparent.
·  Now add carrots and tofu, olives and sauté them in the middle till they are cooked.
·  Once cooked now add pasta sauce and stir it well to combine with the cooked vegetables.
·  Simmer the heat and cover it with a lid and let it boil for 3 min.
·  Turn off the heat and add the crushed black pepper.

Serving the Pasta:

·  Take a bowl /Plate add the cooked pasta and on to the top of it add this hot pasta sauce and serve hot.

Turn off the heat and add the crushed black pepper. 

Serving the Pasta: 

Take a bowl /Plate add the cooked pasta and on to the top of it add this hot pasta sauce
        and serve hot. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Madhu.. very detailed recipe.I will definitely try this sometime soon..


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