118. baked pasta
Baked macaroni was Dada’s favourite. He always use to order baked macaroni with white sauce at the Chini Club. However,nowadays the baked macaroni is not as tasty. Nunu use to make baked pasta with lots of vegetables and spices. She made this regularly for dinner. However as kids came onto the scene, spices had to be reduced and vegetables were increased to make it into a more wholesome meal. Its one of my favourite dishes. Here’s my version of the baked dish. I have used the name baked pasta instead of macaroni as I tend to mix the types of pasta. All those little quantities of leftover pasta are used up for this dish. I usually add fresh cream or white sauce so that during baking water is not separated from the tomato sauce.
Gives 6 servings
For the pasta :
2 cups of pasta
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
For the Vegetables :
½ cup peas
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup diced french beans
½ cup sweet corn
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
Other ingredients :
1 cup diced onions
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 tsp mixed herbs (dry)
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp clove powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ cup fresh cream or white sauce
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
3 cups tomato puree
2 tbsps oil
- To cook the pasta, boil 4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Add 1tsp of salt and oil. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Drain in out into a colander. Run it under cold water and leave it a side till required.
- Boil 2 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt. Add the vegetables. Cook till just done. If you are using tinned corn, then you need not boil it. Drain out the water and add the vegetables to the boiled pasta.
- In a big saucepan, heat the 2 tbsps of oil. Saute the onion till it turns light pink in colour. Add the garlic paste and saute for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree. Add all the spices, salt, sugar and herbs. Mix well. Simmer the sauce till it becomes thick.
- Add fresh cream or white sauce and mix well. Add the pasta and vegetables and mix well. Take the pan off the heat.
- Add ½ cup of grated cheese and mix well.
- Spoon the pasta mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over it and bake in the oven at 180°C till the cheese melts and becomes slightly brown.
- Serve hot with your favourite salad.
- Can saute ½ cup of chopped pepper of your choice with the onions.
- If you want to serve this dish to guests, you can prepare it ahead. Don’t mix the pasta into the sauce till you are ready to bake it.
- If kids cannot wait for too long,heat the pasta mixture and just let the cheese melt under a hot grill.
- Can add fresh herbs.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste.
- Add vegetables of your choice.
- Steam vegetables instead of boiling.