There is something awesome about a pasta dinner – its comforting, easy and non fussy food. I have seen so many pasta variations and have come to realize that pasta actually is such a versatile dish. From soups to salads to main course, pasta has found its place in all sorts of dishes. I wonder if there is a dessert pasta dish .. hmm.. i think that one i’ll give a shot to. Watch out for that one, i bet it would be something amazing :)
Pulling myself back to topic (coz i am still stuck with the sweet pasta concept, its not easy to stop the creative juices once they start to flow :P), this post will revolve around a simple main course ‘savory’ pasta dish. One of the best things i like about pasta is that since there are hundred’s (maybe thousand’s) of ways to go around creating dishes with it, pasta can be made into a “simple and fun” dish as well as “elaborate and sophisticated” dish.
Tomato Creamy Pasta is a simple yet a very elegant and presentable dish. As the name suggests, this pasta dish is smooth on texture but is not overloaded with cream or fats. The secret ingredient is the “tomato paste” which gives the creamy and rich feel to the pasta and adds in that extra tangy zing to it.
TOMATO CREAMY PASTA
Tomato creamy pasta
- 1 cup dried Penne pasta (doubles up upon cooking)
- 1/2 cup mushrooms – slit into halves
- 1/4 cup corn kernels
- 1/4 cup french beans – cut lengthwise
- 1/4 cup green bell peppers – cut lengthwise, thin strips
Tomato Creamy Sauce
- 1/2 cup 3 cheese mix (mozarella, parmesan, cheddar - i took less fat % varieties of all)- shredded
- 1/2 cup milk (i used 1% fat content milk)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste /4 tablespoons tomato ketchup (tomato paste is a thick, heat reduced/concentrated form for tomato puree – tasting much richer)
- 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce / hot sauce
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh oregano (optional) – chopped
- 1/4 tsp grounded pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp paprika/ chipotle (i used chipotle for it’s intense smoky flavour)
- Boil the penne as per instructions on the package. Add 1 tsp of salt while boiling the pasta. Once done, drain the excess water and add a tsp of oil in the cooked penne. Mix well and keep aside. Oil keeps the penne from sticking to each other.
- Preparing the vegetables – Take a pan. Add in 1 tsp oil and put to medium high flame. Add in the mushrooms, french beans, corn kernels and bell peppers, fresh oregano and salt. Saute till the french beans are al’ dente. Remove and keep aside.Now, depending on your choice you may cook the french beans further till tender. you could also pre-cook/steam/microwave the beans separately before adding to the pan.
- Preparing the tomato creamy sauce – In a separate pan, take butter and oil. Put the flame at medium high and let the butter melt. Now, add in chopped garlic and toss it. Let the garlic roast to a light golden color.
- Now, add in the milk and the cheese mix. Mix well till the cheese melts and creates a homogenous mixture. Now add in the salt, pepper and paprika/chipotle. Let it cook till the mixture starts to slightly boil. Keep stirring in between to prevent the cheese sauce from sticking to the base.
- Once the mixture comes to a slight boil, add in the tomato paste and sriracha sauce. Mix in well till the tomato paste mixes in well with the creamy sauce base. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Now, add the boiled pasta in the tomato creamy sauce and mix well. Toss in the vegetables and mix gently. Tomato creamy pasta is ready.
- To serve, add the prepared pasta in the serving bowl and garnish with paprika flakes and sprinkle some fresh grounded pepper. You may add in some shredded cheese if you like to notch up the rich factor of the pasta, it never hurts to make a pasta more cheesy :P
I made a batch of garlic breads to go along with it (recipe to follow soon). We literally slurped up the entire supper in under 10 minutes. It was so good !! Made fresh, the light cheese added the right amount of volume without making it too heavy with richness and blended in really well with the spicy tomato base sauce. The vegetables added to nice crunch and nutritional touch to this dish. This dish was a quick renderation recipe.
I would say this recipe is now one meal dish for those nip in the air wintery afternoons :)