Our Top Pasta Recipes For All Seasons

You work, you shop for groceries, you have your social commitment and plus spend time with your family. Can you do all of this and have that happy content smile on your face? I say Yes!  It is all about planning well. 📆📅🗓 This week’s Meal Plan has yum recipes, interesting reads & a hack that has made my breakfast mornings perfect.
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High angle view of spaghetti with tomato sauce plate shot on rustic wooden table. Some ingredients like ripe tomatoes, olive oil, basil, peppercorns and Parmesan cheese are all around the plate. XXXL 42Mp studio photo taken with SONY A7rII and Sony FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS lens

On days when I don’t want the taam-jhaam of cooking dal, roti and sabzi my go-to meal is a bowl of pasta. Thankfully the entire family is as much of a pasta lover as I am. I remember growing up eating elbow pasta aka macaroni. A hot cheesy bowl of Mac & Cheese was dinner on nights that Mum didn’t want to cook. I guess I got that from her.

I always have a few packets of pasta in my cupboard. I would highly recommend it. Stock your kitchen with these basic ingredients and you’ll always have a dinner backup plan.

So over time I have graduated from macaroni and have been exposed to so many different kinds of pasta –  

Let me break it down for you

Spaghetti – Its long, thin cylindrical shape is fun to twirl, easy to eat, and has a great texture that you can really sink your teeth into.

Fettuccine – Fettuccine’s shape is flat, wide and long, rather than thin and round. It pairs nicely with a cheese sauce. 

Lasagne – Large, flat sheets of pasta are known as lasagne.

Farfalle – This is also known as bowtie pasta because it looks just like a little bowtie with a frilled edge. 

Penne –  These noodles are usually 4-5cm long and cut at an angle, so they resemble the tip of a fountainhead pen.

Fusilli – They look like little corkscrews and are loads of fun to bite into, especially for little kids

Shells – Pasta shells look like their namesake: open, rounded seashells. They come in many sizes

Gnocchi – Gnocchi are little pasta dumplings made from potatoes and flour. They are lovely, round and pillowy

Ravioli – This type of pasta comprises a filling enveloped in thin pasta dough. Usually served in broth or with a sauce,

and the list is. How many names are you familiar with?

Recipe Of The Week

Water Chestnut Pulao – 2 Ways

Ingredients

  • 300 Singhara/ Water Chestnuts pressure cooked
  • 2 cups Cooked Rice
  • 1 Tej Patta/ Bay Leaf 
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 2 Laung/ Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Kali Mirch Powder/ Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Jeera/ Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tsp Haldi/Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Handful of Dhania/Coriander Leaves 

Method

  • Cook the rice and keep
  • Pressure cook the water chestnuts with water for at least 8 whistles and let the pressure release on its own
  • Peel the water chestnuts, chop them in half and aside
  • In a kadhai, heat some oil and add in the sabut masalas – cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves and star anise and let them splutter.
  • Add the cooked water chestnuts, salt, turmeric powder and pepper powder. Saute until they are well combined. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the cooked rice and toss it over gently until the rice is coated evenly and serve hot by sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on top.

I also have a different recipe that you can use for water chestnuts. I thought I would share that as well today.

Ingredient:

  • 2 Tsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Chopped Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2-3 Chopped Green Chillies
  • 1 Cup Boiled Rice
  • ½ Cup Chicken Boneless, Boiled & Cut Into Cubes (if using. Can substitute with veggies of choice)
  • 1 Egg
  • 5-6 Water Chestnuts halved
  • ¼  Cup Green Peas Boiled
  • ½ Carrot Cut Into Small Cubes.
  • 2-3 Spring OnionSliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Spring Onion Greens, Chopped.
  • Salt To Taste
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper Powder
  • ½ Tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • ½  Tsp Chaat Masala
  • 2 Tsp Lime Juice
  • 2 Tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • 2 Tsp Red Chili Sauce/Schezuan Chutney

Method:

  • Heat oil in a wok/kadai and saute the ginger, garlic, chillies and onions for a few seconds, add in the chicken and or vegetables and toss them well for a minute.
  • Add in the seasonings, spices to taste and sauces to taste and allow the veggies to cook for a few minutes, add a little water if desired to prevent burning or sticking at the base.
  • Add in the cooked rice, scrambled egg if being used and spring onions and mix well, cook for further 2-3 mins on a medium flame.
  • Serve hot.

Your Grocery List

indian grocery list

Did You Know

The debate rages on  – which cookware is healthy for us. Shoud we use non stick pans? Why is aluminium bad for us? Is going back to earthen pots feasible and th right thing to do? Today I am sharing an interesting video I came across. I thought I would share it with you so you can listen to it too. Do you think what he is saying makes sense?

Hack Of Week

If you are a poached egg fan but it always gets overdone, then you have to try this hack out! 

Meal Plan This Week

Recipes To Help You Through The Week

Spaghetti Muffins

Hearty Pasta Soup

pasta soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 large Onion, finely chopped
  • 1-litre Vegetable Stock
  • 400g can Tomato, chopped
  • 200g frozen mixed Peas and Beans
  • 250g pack fresh filled Tortellini (we used spinach and ricotta)/ regular whole wheat pasta
  • Handful of Basil Leaves (optional)
  • grated Parmesan to serve

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan. Fry the carrots and onion for 5 mins until starting to soften.
  • Add the stock and tomatoes, then simmer for 10 mins.
  • Add the peas and beans with 5 mins to go.
  • Once the veggies are tender, stir in the pasta. Return to the boil and simmer for 2 mins until the pasta is just cooked.
  • Stir in the basil, if using.
  • Season, then serve in bowls topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan and slices of garlic bread.

Spinach & Basil Pesto Pasta

Mocha Ginger Biscotti

mocha biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Wholewheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Instant Coffee powder
  • 2 Tbsp Cocao Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed
  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Raw sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or baking paper
  • In a small bowl combine the flax powder and water to make the flax egg. Stir and keep for 10-15 minutes to thicken up a bit.
  • In a large bowl, mix wholewheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, nutmeg powder, ground cloves, coffee powder, and cocoa powder.
  • In another bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, raw sugar, and vanilla till fluffy. Stir in the flax mixture.
  • Add this along with chocolate chips to the flour mixture. Use a spatula to bring this together to make a stiff dough. You may need to use your hands here.
  • Divide dough in half. Form the dough into two slightly flattened logs on the prepared baking sheet, approximately 12-inches long and 2.5-inches wide.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly firm to touch. Take it out of the oven and let the logs cool completely.
  • Cut the cooled logs into 1/4” slices. Place cut side down on the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until crisp.
  • Wait for 3-4 minutes before taking them off the baking tray. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
  • Store in an airtight container.

Granola Bars

Spicy Tofu Stir Fry

tofu stir fry

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 200g Tofu, (cut into big chunks I used firm)
  • 1/2 Cup Red Bell Pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp Ginger, minced
  • 3-4 Red Chillies, dry
  • 2 Tbsp Chilli Garlic Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Cornstarch
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saute pan. Saute the tofu till lightly golden on all sides. Take it out in a plate.
  • Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the same pan. Add the red chilli, minced ginger, and garlic. Cook for 30-40 seconds.
  • Add the onions and bell peppers. Cook for a minute, stirring all the time.
  • Mix in the soy sauce, chilli garlic sauce and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl. Add it to the veggies. Cook for another 30 seconds and add the tofu.
  • Stir well allowing the sauce to coat the tofu well.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the pan. Let the sauce come to boil. Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • Garnish with roasted cashews, sesame seeds, and some coriander/ cilantro or spring onion greens. Serve immediately.

Vada Pav

Amaranth Hot Cereal

amaranth hot cereal

Dill Yoghurt Dip

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