After that delicious and lip smacking pav bhaji, I have been up to no good!!!! Good food almost always results in a proportional onset of laziness 🙂 I hope you know what I mean or is it just me who has this problem?
I sure hope not!
The easiest thing that I can muster up for dinner or lunch is pasta. Pasta is a diva when it comes to food, it can be dressed up or dressed down and the results are almost always satisfying. So, today after a long week of catching up with errands I am sharing with you my take on Pasta Primavera. My version lacks cheese, a commodity I love but almost always regret. The standard in my kitchen is “Avoid Cheese”. You may or may not follow that dictum!
One packet of pasta, approximately 500 gms / 1 pound. I used rigatoni, you can pick whichever you like except spaghetti.
Olive oil, 4 tbsps.
Onion, 1, thinly sliced. (I used a red onion)
Garlic pods, 3-4, crushed and finely chopped.
Cubanelle peppers, 2-3, red, yellow or orange; sliced.
#Note: Be sure to pick up something you can handle, in terms of the heat index. Cubanelle peppers are categorized as sweet peppers but a good rule for any kind of peppers is to wash off all the seeds and remove the white flesh, that is where most of the heat is located.
Baby spinach, approximately 400 gms, chopped.
Chicken sausages, 3-4, depending on how much meat you want.
Tomatos, 2, skinned and cubed. Or used diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup.
Green peas, 1/2 cup.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Seasonings: Chilly flakes, oregano, basil; add to taste.
Time: 30 minutes, if prepared simultaneously.
For the Pasta:
Fill a medium sized pot with water 3/4th way up and keep it on the stove to boil. Add a teaspoon of salt to this. Once the water starts boiling pour in the pasta and bring it back to a boil. When the water starts boiling a second time, remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Check the pasta in between for doneness. Bring up a piece or two with a fork and press them to check for softness. I keep the pasta al dente, because we are going to mix it up with the sauce later and cook it again.
Once done, drain the pasta, shower with cold water and keep aside.
#Note: I usually let the water boil while I am cutting and preparing ingredients for the sauce. So being able to manage two things simultaneously helps. But if you dont feel confident, then first finish the chopping and slicing. After that turn your attention to the stove. The pasta takes about 20 mins to be done, 8-10 mins to boil water and 10 minutes after adding pasta, so that is a good time to start preparing the sauce.
For the sauce:
In a large skillet heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. While the oil is heating add in the chopped garlic. I find this helpful since garlic burns easily. Adding it when the oil is still warming up prevents the garlic from burning and incorporates the flavours properly.
Once the garlic starts crackling add the onions. Saute them until they are a pale pink. Now add the salt and pepper. Saute a little more, the onions will release their moisture at this point. When using sausages I add them in at this point. Though I use fully cooked, ready to eat sausages, I believe in cooking them well before eating. Cook the sausages for a few minutes, you can brown the sides a little if you like. Then add the chopped spinach, peppers and peas. As it loses water, spinach reduces in volume. So just give it a few minutes, usually 5. Finally add the tomatoes. Mix well and cook covered for 5-10 minutes.
In primavera of this kind you will be able to see all the ingredients separately. Do not worry! We had not set out to make a traditional sauce.
Uncover the sauce and mix all the ingredients once more. If you have room in your skillet then add the pasta that you had kept aside and mix well. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat. Let the paste sit in for five more minutes before you dig in. Finally, season it with some dried herbs, oregano or basil, and top it off with a dash of chilly flakes and enjoy!