Tuesday, 2 June 2015

PENNE PASTA IN HEALTHY WHITE SAUCE WITH LEMON BASIL - EAT WITHOUT GUILT


This post is my ode to all my fellow Food Bloggers. A bunch of dedicated artisans, who toil their heart out to bring to you the finest recipes, using the freshest ingredients, made to perfection, using methods which just can't go wrong. That's not all, the food cooked is then captured in its truest hues and put forth pictorially so that its a visual feast for anyone who gets a glimpse. Overall, a post in a blog is packaged with honesty and lots of passion both for the craft of cooking and for the food that is served. And for this intense labour of love, all a Food Blogger expects in return, is that you cook the recipe and let know it was a success at your dinning table.


That's not all, a dish before it goes on to the Blog is tried and tested till it's absolutely impeccable. This involves cooking the dish a few times over if it's a new recipe being tried. Once satisfied fully, the dish is then served among family, friends and sometimes discerning foodies to get a truthful review of its final outcome. Off course heirloom and traditional family recipes have been cooking in the kitchen of Food Bloggers and they can deftly dish out these recipes with as much accuracy as it has been cooking for years in the family.


Another wonderful gift that Food Bloggers give us is, sharing recipes which have been cooked by their mothers and their grandmothers. In this way recipes which would have been otherwise lost with time are documented to be passed down generations, never to be lost. Before, Food Blogs, the only access to recipes from other countries were Magazines or TV channels which was unfortunately not that widely accessible.  Not only that, if there were any doubts regarding the recipe, ingredients or steps of cooking, there was no way to clear it.

Today sitting at my home in Dubai I can get a whiff of what is cooking in kitchens of my friends in Brazil, Australia, The United States Of America, London, Germany, Pakistan, you just name it. Not only me being a Food Blogger have access to dishes which are native to countries like Fiji, Vietnam, Greece etc. without having to leave my home, also anyone who wishes to cook any dish from any part of the world will get the recipe with a click, thanks to Food Bloggers. What's more ingredients which are used in a particular cuisine and not easily available where you are, locally , food bloggers give you substitutes for these ingredients, too.


Truly Food Bloggers and Food Blogs have changed the culinary map of the world, shrinking it and making recipes available readily anywhere, anytime. Distance, language, time zones, nothing can now deter a recipe reaching your home, thanks to Food Bloggers and Google Search. It is for Food Bloggers that no recipe will now be lost in the tides of time.

I take this opportunity to applaud all Food Bloggers for the stupendous endeavour they are bringing to task. Ladies and Gentlemen Kudos to your Culinary passion, Food is being looked upon in a different light. I am very lucky to be a minuscule part of this mammoth pool of fervour, ingenuity and zeal.

This recipe is a glimpse of how I got the healthy pasta sauce to its perfect taste by cooking, replacing ingredients till I was completely satisfied and others gave their mark of approval that the sauce which neither contained cheese, nor cream did indeed mimic the original sauce and made it hard to tell the difference.

I first tried with only whole wheat flour and milk, then changed to walnut paste with almond milk and finally it was perfected with penne pasta, whole wheat flour, almond paste, milk and lemon basil and veggies. Below the next three pictures are that of my earlier trials of the recipe before I zeroed on the final one which I am sharing with you my esteemed readers in this post.




PENNE PASTA IN HEALTHY WHITE SAUCE WITH LEMON BASIL RECIPE :

AUTHOR : PIYALI
SERVES : 4
CUISINE : ITALIAN
TYPE : MAIN COURSE/PASTA DISH
TIME : 15 MINUTES PREPARATION + 30 MINUTES COOKING



INGREDIENTS :

1) 400 Gms of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
2) 2 Cups milk ( 1 CUP = 250 ML)
3) 100 Gms of tiny sized broccoli florets
4) 150 Gms of button mushrooms thinly sliced
5) 100 Gms Baby Corn chopped into thin roundels
6) 5-6 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
7) 1 Medium Onion Finely Sliced
8) 15-20 Almonds blanched
9) 1 1/2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
10) 1 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper
11) A few sprigs of Lemon Basil
12) 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
13) Salt to taste

FOR GARNISHING :
1) 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
2) 1 tsp dried Herbs mix

COOK WITH ME IN EASY STEPS :

STEP 1:
In a large pan heat water. When it starts to boil, add in the Penne Pasta, 2 Tsp salt and 1 tsp oil. Cook until the pasta is totally cooked, not too soft but just perfect. Now remove from flame and drain the water from the pasta. Next pour cold water into the container containing the pasta so that the cold water will stop the pasta from continuing to cook, and the pasta will retain its shape and texture. Keep Aside. 

In a food processor whizz together Blanched Almonds, Enough milk to cover the almonds and whole wheat flour to a smooth paste. You can add more milk little by little if required. Keep this runny paste aside.



STEP 2:
In a pan take olive oil and add chopped garlic to it. Once the oil is infused with the garlic and becomes fragrant, add the chopped onions and sauté till soft. Next goes in the baby corn, broccoli and mushrooms. Saute the veggies for a couple of minutes more. Now add the remaining milk and cook till the mushrooms are fully cooked. Next goes in the almond, milk, wheat flour paste. Stir and once it starts to boil let the sauce simmer till it thickens and is no longer runny. Check for seasoning and add black pepper powder and mix. Switch off the flame and add lemon basil leaves to the sauce. The sauce is now ready and we can start plating our pasta.



STEP 3:
In a serving dish spread the pasta. Sprinkle chilli flakes and drizzle dried herbs mix on the pasta. Finally pour in the silky pasta sauce (which has neither cream nor cheese) on the pasta and serve hot. You can place more chilli flakes, olive oil, dried herbs mix and lemon basil leaves by the side so that the diners can add in more if they wish. 




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PENNE PASTA IN HEALTHY WHITE SAUCE WITH LEMON BASIL RECIPE :

INGREDIENTS :

1) 400 Gms of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
2) 2 Cups milk ( 1 CUP = 250 ML)
3) 100 Gms of tiny sized broccoli florets
4) 150 Gms of button mushrooms thinly sliced
5) 100 Gms Baby Corn chopped into thin roundels
6) 5-6 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
7) 1 Medium Onion Finely Sliced
8) 15-20 Almonds blanched
9) 1 1/2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
10) 1 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper
11) A few sprigs of Lemon Basil
12) 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
13) Salt to taste

FOR GARNISHING :
1) 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
2) 1 tsp Dried Herbs mix

COOK WITH ME IN EASY STEPS :

STEP 1:
In a large pan heat water. When it starts to boil, add in the Penne Pasta, 2 Tsp salt and 1 tsp oil. Cook until the pasta is totally cooked, not too soft but just perfect. Now remove from flame and drain the water from the pasta. Next pour cold water into the container containing the pasta so that the cold water will stop the pasta from continuing to cook, and the pasta will retain its shape and texture. Keep Aside. 

In a food processor whizz together Blanched Almonds, Enough milk to cover the almonds and whole wheat flour to a smooth paste. You can add more milk little by little if required. Keep this runny paste aside.


STEP 2:
In a pan take olive oil and add chopped garlic to it. Once the oil is infused with the garlic and becomes fragrant, add the chopped onions and sauté till soft. Next goes in the baby corn, broccoli and mushrooms. Saute the veggies for a couple of minutes more. Now add the remaining milk and cook till the mushrooms are fully cooked. Next goes in the almond, milk, wheat flour paste. Stir and once it starts to boil let the sauce simmer till it thickens and is no longer runny. Check for seasoning and add black pepper powder and mix. Switch off the flame and add lemon basil leaves to the sauce. The sauce is now ready and we can start plating our pasta.

STEP 3:
In a serving dish spread the pasta. Sprinkle chilli flakes and drizzle dried herbs mix on the pasta. Finally pour in the silky pasta sauce (which has neither cream nor cheese) on the pasta and serve hot. You can place more chilli flakes, olive oil, dried herbs mix and lemon basil leaves by the side so that the diners can add in more if they wish. 


CHECK LIST :
1) Penne Pasta, 2) Briccoli, 3) Baby Corn, 4) Mushrooms, 5) Almonds, 6) Whole Wheat Flour, 7) Milk, 8) Lemon Basil, 9) Dried Herbs Mix, 10) Chilli Flakes, 11) Garlic, 12) Onion, 13) olive Oil, 14) Black Pepper Powder, 15) Salt

NOTES :
  • To make this recipe vegan use almond, rice or soya milk in place of milk.
  • For a gluten free version use Red Lentil Pasta or QUINOA PENNE PASTA . Replace whole wheat flour with a GLUTEN FREE SAUCE THICKNER
  • Its also a good idea to serve the pasta and sauce separately as this allows the diner to take as much sauce they want as per their preference and not ours. In Italy I have mostly seen them serving the pasta and sauce separately.