Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Pasta Veggie Medley

Colours of my Pasta

Its been ages since I have penned down a recipe here. Not that I never felt like or I was not trying out dishes, but you can blame it on the big move from Singapore to Australia...I am also getting busy busier busiest with my 8-5 job ..alas not a lady of leisure anymore ...there can be so many factors..I know I had started my last blog Petite Potatoes with similar excuses!!!

Finally I have my recipe from my bright and sunny cherrybrook kitchen...with all the greenery peeping in through my French window.

So lets get to plate up some colours and flavours happening on my new hob and yes, also my new rangehood!! I still have some of my old companion with me, my good old oven and grill. Picked up my son from after -care and gave him a choice between pasta and noodles..N pasta got the thumbs up!

Had to use up all the vegetables and yet the condition was both healthy and attractive to get my boys' appetites growing. So cooked up macaroni with bright orange pumpkin, fresh green capsicum and broccoli- ofcourse I had to add broccoli as that is one of R's favourite vegetable and some lamb sausages to add the protein factor and make it a wholesome dinner.

What did I use-

  • 5 Gourmet Lamb Sausages
  • Some chopped Pumpkin - rough cubes
  • 1 capsicum chopped into long cubes
  • Half a broccoli- chopped florets
  • 1 Spanish Onion- sliced
  • 1 whole garlic
  • Couple of fresh chillies
  • Half a packet of Macaroni pasta
  • A dash of Lemon and Herb dried spice
  • 1tsp of Sambal apste (optional- that's my added fusion and twist to the Italian dish-may name it Oriental pasta actually)
  • Some drops of Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to season

How did I play with the above-
  1. Heated my grill pan on the hob with a slight spray of oil to brown the sausages.
  2. Coated the pumpkin pieces with some golden spray oil and popped them under the hot griller to caremelize them and brighten the golden colour. Must mention here to be careful not to cook too much and make them mushy pushy..but just keep their size and shapes intact with just a bit of caremelizing and enhancing the colours.Threw in some garlic pieces with the skin intact on the same tray with the pumpkin and waited for them to melt within and spread the flavours.

3. While the sausages were cooking, stirred in the onion, capsicum pieces in the same grill pan..stir fried    in the same fat that oozed out from the sausages.

4.  Took the sausages out and sliced them and they got to go back on the pan with the veggies. 

5.  Blanched some broccoli and added them to the same pan when almost everything else had cooked.

6.  By then, my pumpkin and garlic were ready to be mixed with the sausage and veggies on the grill pan. Skinned the garlic and just mushed them too with the rest but this should be done last I didn't want to get them overcooked and loose the strong garlicky flavour.

7.  Then it was turn for my magic- all the flavours go in- sambal sauce, lemon and herb seasoning, tobasco sauce, salt and pepper. Did not stir much as my target was to leave the vegetables in their shapes but tossed to mix it thoroughly.

8.  While this was happening, had my Macaroni boiled to al dente. That would mean lots of bubbling water, poured the macaroni shells with a pinch of salt. The water should be bubbling rapidly though. The pasta should be cooked till just done ( and that's where I can wear my chef's apron and declare the pasta shells Al dente). Then strained the pasta. Never strain with cold water- main difference in cooking pasta and noodles- Noodles always strain with running cold water but pasta should not be washed with cold water. The starchy texture of the pasta helps the veggies or sauce to stick on and flavours the pasta.

9. To the hot pasta poured some olive oil ( good virgin olive oil for better flavour) - and the warm meat veggie compliment and stirred on a hot pan.

10. Seasoning well is a trick here to get the flavours balanced. 

I plated this pasta with some thinly sliced salami and shredded cheese. Had a lovely fresh green salad to go as a side with some sparkling white wine!!! 
Yes!! Boys happy at the dinner table and did name it Oriental pasta..and my little man rated 8 star ..!!

Let me know if you try, what do your boys and girls rate?