Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pangong Pa- tso

Before I start blogging about my first detailed blog post about a recipe, I would like to thank Del Monte India https://www.facebook.com/DelMonteIndia for giving an opportunity for bloggers like me to try our hand at writing food blogs.

My husband was more happier than I was because I was going to make his favourite cream based pasta just because I needed to participate in this contest. He had been requesting me to make pasta at home and I kept postponing it thinking I will do it over the weekend. So, when I decided to make the pasta after registering for this contest my husband commented, "Now situations are such that I get to have pasta only because of a contest." 

Well...... I did not respond but just thought of making this pasta tasty so that he doesn't get a chance to comment again. 

We both love Italian food and most of our special dine out dates are to Italian restaurants. We both have the same taste when it comes to Italian food. Little Italy by far stands as one of our favourite Vegetarian Italian restaurant chains. Without much ado I registered for this contest on IndiBlogger. 

I got my Del Monte's Farfalle Gourmet Pasta packet within a few days after registration. Receiving the pasta itself was encouraging enough for me to start the preparations of the recipe. 




My pasta packet and the letter from Del Monte

This pasta is made of Durum Wheat Semolina which is very healthy. Its high protein content but with less gluten provides instant energy. ( Note: It might not be too healthy an option for those who cannot digest gluten.) Semolina/Cream of Wheat/Suji/Sooji as we call it in India, is most suited for making pasta along with a combination of durum wheat. It gives a sense of fullness thus preventing us from overeating. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.The advantage that Farfalle pasta has over the other types of pasta like Penne/Fusilli/Macaroni is that its bow/butterfly shape absorbs all the flavours well  and at the same time it gives a good look to the pasta. I have added many vegetables which are nutritious and also rich in vitamins and minerals. Milk and cheese added here also add to the nutritive content of the dish.( leave apart the calories we gain from them)

I made a cream based Indo-Italian fusion pasta because I don't really know how a true Italian Pasta is made. One has to learn from the masters to get to know the actual recipe behind the awesome pasta that is considered as a staple food of a traditional Italian cuisine.

My pasta is called - Pangong Pa- tso. The name has got nothing to do with the ingredients of the dish or any Italian dish. I named it because I was still hung over by the recent visit I had made to the beautiful Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh.

'Tso' means 'a lake' in Tibetian/Ladakhi language.

Recipe type  : Main Course 
Cuisine :  Italian, Continental
Serves : 2-3 
Preparation time : 25 minutes
Cooking time :  40 minutes 



INGREDIENTS

Capacity of measuring bowl and measuring cup used = 150 ml
L-R ( Measuring cup, Measuring bowl)
  • 250 gms of Del Monte Gourmet Farfalle pasta (half of the packet that was sent)
  • 5-6 tbsp of Olive oil ( Brand used - Di Sano Olive Pomace Oil ) 
  • 375 ml, 2.5 cups full cream milk( Brand used - Nilgiris Rich Cream Milk )
  • 2 tbsp of garlic herb flavoured butter ( Brand used - Amul ) 
  • 3 cubes of processed cheddar cheese ( Brand used - Amul )
  • 1 cup Red bell pepper 
  • 1 cup Green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup carrot
  • 1 cup Brinjal/Aubergine/Egg plant
  • 200gms, 1 big cup button mushrooms
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 8-10 shallots
  • 8-10 big cloves of garlic
  • 5-10 branches of parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp of Pasta seasoning herb ( Brand used - Keya) Contains dried garlic, iodised salt, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, anti-caking agent. 
  • 4 tbsp Maida (Finely milled refined and bleached wheat flour)/ Cornflour. I used Maida. 
VESSELS USED
  • Non stick curved, deep pan/ kadhai 
  • Wooden spatula
  • Water Boiler
  • Steel Colander / sieve
  • Borosil serving bowls/ plate/glass bowls
  • Forks and spoons

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Heat 900-1000ml ( 6 cups) of water to boil in the non stick pan.
  2. Once the water starts boiling add the farfalle pasta slowly. Optional :You can add one or two drops of Olive oil if you want into water while it is boiling or choose to add once the pasta is drained in the colander. I added Olive oil later. 
The pan used for making Pasta
  
3. Boil the pasta for around 15 minutes and then strain it in a colander. Ensure that the pasta is cooked in such a way that if you put a fork through it, the fork can pass through it easily. The pasta should not be over cooked. 

Cooked Pasta strained in the colander

4. Meanwhile, dice all the vegetables and keep them in the respective bowls. Shallots 
should be made into two halves or four halves. Parsley can be cut into short branches by removing the long stem. Mushrooms should be cut into two halves. 


The chopped vegetables






5. Boil the diced carrots and aubergine/brinjal in a water boiler for 3 minutes. The vegetables should become semi soft and not completely boiled. I have used an electric boiler here. You can use even a pan with water to boil the vegetables. 


Carrot and Aubergine in the boiler 

6. Pour boiling water in the cup containing broccoli. This will help in killing the insects if any inside and also remove any gaseous pesticides of any. (Just the same way we do before making cauliflower curry.) Keep this for 3-4 minutes. Later, remove the water and keep the broccoli aside. 


Broccoli in hot water
7. In the heated pan add 3-4 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of garlic herb flavoured butter. Once the butter has melted and the oil is heated up add the chopped garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes on a medium flame.
Olive oil and butter added to the pan
Chopped garlic turning slightly golden
 8. Once the garlic starts turning slightly golden brown add the shallots and fry for a 1-2 until a golden colour appears. 


Shallots turning golden 
9.  Add the chopped red bell pepper and fry for 1-2 minutes. 

Red bell pepper added
10. Add the chopped green bell pepper and fry for 1-2 minutes. Cook this in medium flame. Allow the bell pepper to become slight soft.
Green bell pepper added
11.  Once both the bell peppers appear slightly soft and also start releasing a little water, add the chopped zucchini followed by broccoli which has been strained out from the hot water. Keep mixing in a medium flame. You can cover the lid of the pan and allow them cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep checking by opening the lid and mixing it so that the mixture does not become too watery and also should not get over cooked. 


Zucchini added to the veggie mixture
Broccoli added after that
12. Once the vegetables appear cooked and soft add the chopped mushrooms. In order to see that the vegetables have been cooked you can press them with the wooden spatula and check. The veggie should not be chopped or mashed just by applying slight pressure with the spatula. 


Mushroom added with the other half cooked vegetables
 13.  Mushroom has to be cooked for 4-5 minutes so that it becomes soft and brown in colour. It should be cooked well. Mushroom will also release some water which will help the vegetables to cook faster. 

14.  Add the boiled carrot and brinjal/aubergine in the end so that they do not get over cooked. 

Boiled carrot and brinjal/aubergine added
15. Cook these vegetables in low flame now for 4-5 minutes. 

16.  Add 4 tbsp of maida and mix well. Add little salt also along with this. 

Maida added

17.  Now pour milk slowly while stirring the mixture. You must ensure that there is no clump formation as maida can cause the milk to thicken and also form clumps with the vegetables.

Note- Cornflour can also be used instead of maida.  

Milk is added

18. Once the milk has been added continue stirring in a medium high flame. Ensure that there no clumps even after stirring well. 

19.  The mixture will start becoming slightly yellow. That is a sign that it is getting cooked. 

20. Add salt according to your taste requirement and continue stirring. Since you have already added salt before you might not need much addition now. If you feel that the mixture is becoming thick slowly, you can add approx 100 ml water to make it little watery. 


Mixture turning yellow after it is cooked in milk

21. Once the mixture has come to boil, reduce the flame to medium and sprinkle the pasta herb mixture. 
Pasta herbs added
22. Once the pasta mixture taste is fine according to you and the aroma of the Pasta herbs have wafted in the mixture add the boiled pasta that would have cooled by then.

23. Keep stirring continuously while added the boiled pasta into the mixture. Instead of adding all of it together, you can add little pasta and mix it gently. Do this until all the boiled pasta is completely soaked in the pasta sauce. 

24. You can keep the stove in a medium high flame and mix gently. Make sure the creamy sauce that is stuck to the corners of the pan is also scraped and added back to the pasta mixture. 

25. Cook the pasta for 8- 10 minutes in the creamy pasta sauce. If you feel now that the pasta has absorbed the sauce and it had become thick again you can add little milk again. This is solely dependent on your choice. If you like a thick creamy pasta you can choose to leave it this way. 

( Note: I did not realize that my husband was going to be late for dinner. When I was cooking the pasta it was creamy and thick and also the pasta was completely dipped in the sauce. By the time my husband came all the milk had been absorbed. I had to add little more milk to make it of a slightly liquid consistency. My husband likes it that way. So you can choose to do the final touches just before serving. Pasta tastes awesome even when it is slightly warm and also when it is cold straight out of the fridge.)

Boiled pasta added to the creamy sauce
 26. Once the pasta has absorbed the creamy sauce, take the cheese cubes and grate them onto the pasta while it is cooking in low flame.

Grated cheese
27. The cheese will start melting in the heat. Cook the mixture for 5-8 minutes.

Final, cooked creamy mixed vegetable pasta

28. I used a borosil white melamine dish to serve the pasta. I garnished it with parsley and added grated cheese on top. 



Note : We were just two and the quantity I had made was for 2-3 members. My husband loved it to the core and after a hard day at work he was too happy to enjoy the pasta. Since there was extra pasta, he even had it the next day. He loves having cold pasta too :-) 


My husband is happy and ready to devour the pasta

So, what do you think was the secret ingredient in my pasta???

I feel it is shallots and aubergine. There are many who do not like brinjal/ aubergine/egg plant and are also allergic to it. They can choose to omit adding this vegetable too. Although, aubergine is used in many Italian dishes. This vegetable has an origin from India so I thought I should add it and its flavour was blending well with the other vegetables. Shallots added as a substitute for sliced onions also helped in enhancing the taste. The garlic herb flavoured butter let out a wonderful aroma when the garlic slices were being cooked. Overall, these ingredients added to the taste of the pasta I made. 

I added many vegetables in this because I wanted to make a pasta which was high in calories but at the same time was loaded with nutrition. I chose vegetables with different colours in order to bring in all the vitamins and minerals. I wanted good amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals in the pasta that I was going to make. I added 3 cubes of cheese considering the quantity I was making. If you want a less cheesy pasta then 1 cube would also do.  Pasta made at home is any day more healthier than what we eat outside because we do not have control over the calorific value there. 

The creamy white sauce and the yellow boiled pasta blended really well with the colourful vegetables.

In order to give you all a better idea I have also made a short video of this pasta making process. You can check out the video here :- 


4 comments:

Misskay LN said...

looks so yum!!

sandhya said...

Lovely looking pasta :) will try soon with some of our favourite veggies as I have an aubergine hater at home

Power of Words said...

Thanks Krupa.

Power of Words said...

Thanks Sandy :-) Yes, you should. Ya, even I know many who do not like Aubergine ;-)