Friday, 4 April 2014

Pasta in Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce

Pasta in Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce
I had not planned to post two pasta recipes back to back but it just so happened. These days I do not go back to my huge list of draft but rather post as and when I make something exciting (atleast for me). I made this dish for the kids today and they seemed to like it. I tasted the sauce only as I am not a pasta person and I must say that if you do not thicken to sauce consistency, it can be had as a yummy soup. You could make it as soup for yourself and thicken it as sauce for kids so they get to eat pasta. I had ordered chopped butternut squash, infact it is the only vegetable I order processed as it is quite a task chopping the squash. Instead, full squash was delivered and I failed to read the substitutes properly so am stuck with them. I managed to chop one up thought I will use them fresh for the kids. There is no reason why only they should enjoy this, ofcourse, grown ups can have it as well. If you run out of time, skip the white sauce, just use the roasted squash puree and a bit of milk to make it little creamy.

Pasta for 2-3 adults, cooked as per package instructions
2 handful of butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste
Oregano or other dried herbs to taste
½ cup milk
Cooking oil

In an oven proof dish, put the butternut squash, onion and garlic, drizzle few drops of oil and roast at 170degC for 30 minutes, until cooked. Sprinkling very little salt will help speed up the process and enhance flavour. The squash should become tender

Cool and grind this to a fine paste

Heat the butter in a heavy bottom pan and add the all purpose flour and keep stirring until raw smell goes and it just begins to brown, keep the heat low

Add milk and keep stirring else it will form lumps and still keep on low heat

The white sauce will be ready when it becomes thick but nice and shiny. Now add the squash onion paste, oregano, salt to taste and some water as well and bring to boil stirring now and then.

Add cooked pasta and let it boil once. Sprinkle some cheese and serve!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Pasta in Lentil sauce

Pasta in Lentil sauce

I have the routine of making red pepper sauce on Thursdays and spinach sauce on Fridays for the kids. Apart from the fact that I was running out of red pepper today, I thought I should make something more different today. I was going to make lentil with spinach for us so decided I will make a lentil based sauce for pasta for kids. I must say that the Indian dish, dal dokhli, was an inspiration to come up with this dish. I quite liked how it came out and was satisfied that good quality protein is going down tiny tummies.

1/3 cup moong dal or red lentils, well cooked
1 onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
Dried oregano and basil as required to flavour
Dash of turmeric powder
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt to taste
Cooking oil
Pasta to serve about 2-3 people

Heat a skillet and add oil. Once oil is hot add the garlic cloves and onions and sauté for couple of minutes
Add the tomatoes and turmeric powder and cook until it turns mushy, adding bit of salt would quicken this.

Along with the cooked lentils, grind the onion tomato mixture into fine paste and put back in skillet. Add the dried herbs and required salt and bring to boil.

Cook the pasta as per pack instructions and add to the lentil mixture, mix and it is ready to serve

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Onion Chutney (Onion Dip)

Onion Chutney (Onion Dip)
When I first came to UK, I was a stay at home wife for three weeks. During that time, I would have toasted bread dipped in hummus for snack and I still remember the comfort it gave me. I then stopped having hummus for some reason and resumed just recently. While trying to figure out how to make my own hummus, I realised it could have a lot of oil hiding in it. Ofcourse, you get the low fat ones but that is not for me. I was recently looking for a variety of chutney recipes as I was getting bored of the three chutneys I usually make. Vah chef had onion chutney on his site and it looked very inviting. This is pretty much his recipe but I have not even used half as many red chillies as he has. This would be a mild chutney but feel free to add more red chillies. This goes very well with idli, dosa upma etc. and also with bread. You can use this as a dip in places where you may use hummus. You can also use this as a spread in your sandwich (you could skip the tempering for this). As it pretty much is just sautéed onions, I think it will even count towards your one of five a day! Now for the recipe...

4 onions, I used white, chopped
1 small tomato
1 small lime size ball of tamarind
3-5 dry red chillies (this would yield a mild chutney, increase if you want a hot one)
2 heaped tablespoon roasted Bengal gram or you can use cashew nuts too
Salt to taste
Cooking oil
For tempering:
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
½ teaspoon urd dal

Heat a kadai and add some oil. Once hot, add the chillies

Once they become crisp, add the onions and couple of minutes later add the tomatoes

Cook until onions are done, not browned though. Then add the tamarind flakes and cook for couple of minutes

Add required salt and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the roasted Bengal gram (daria) and grind to paste. 
You shouldn’t have to add water, but use your discretion.

To temper, heat some oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, soon after it splutters, add urd dal and curry leaves and wait till the dal browns. Add this to the chutney, serve!