Pasta, a delicious dish that has travelled far & wide to become a favourite to many of us, no matter where we are from. A versatile dish that can be made in a million ways to our liking. This recipe is a family favourite in my home, a big hit in my Son’s School & at Birthday parties.
Every one of us have our own style & recipe in preparing pasta. I would like to share my recipe & method, I hope it helps you. This recipe is easy to prepare, delicious to taste, can be made way ahead & easy to prepare for a crowd.
This recipe is made with an Indian twist, we add onions, curry powder & garam masala. The original Pasta dish has great flavours, this recipe adds a different (in a nice way) flavour to the pasta as a whole.
Tomato puree is prepared ahead by boiling tomatoes in salted water & then pureed & set aside. The creamy tomato sauce is made with crushed chopped garlic sautéed in butter which gives a sweet garlic aroma along with finely chopped onions which are sautéed to bring out its sweetness, dry oregano is added so that we do not miss on the original pasta flavour. After which we add *curry powder & *garam masala powder which gives the Indian twist. Then the tomato puree is added & is simmered for a few minutes which makes all the ingredients blend well together & gives a beautiful fragrant thick red sauce. Then the pasta is cooked, drained & we add the sauce to the pasta, finally we finish off by adding fresh cream to bring it all together which makes the sauce & pasta deliciously creamy & not to mention “Yumm……”
Do try this recipe, you can enjoy preparing this with your family & friends. Tastes fantastic specially when we prepare & eat it with our family & friends.
The Pasta tastes great when served hot, room temperature or cold & they make great leftovers too. You can also use this recipe as a base & build on it by adding your favourite veggies or roasted chicken pieces etc.
- 2 Cups – Pasta (I used Bambino brand elbow pasta/macaroni made from durum wheat, it is available in all Indian stores, you are welcome to use any pasta of your choice)
- 3 Large – Tomatoes (it needs to be firm, ripe & red)
- 1 small – Onion (finely chopped)
- 4-5 cloves – Garlic (gives 1 tbsp when chopped finely)
- 1-2 Tsp – Butter
- 2 Tsp – Oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ Tsp – Sugar
- 1 Tsp – Dry Oregano
- 1 Tsp – Curry/Sambhar Powder (for the recipe you can check my earlier post named Homemade sambhar/curry powder or you can use any curry powder you like)
- ½ Tsp – Homemade Garam Masala powder
- ¼ Cup – Fresh Cream (I used store bought)
- ½ Cup – Water (for the sauce)
- Cut out the green stalk part of the tomato, place them in a pot of water, add salt & let it cook.
- We partially cover the pot with a lid so the tomatoes cook well.
- After 14-15 minutes we open & check to see that the skins of the tomatoes are cut open, the tomatoes are cooked.
- We turn off heat & transfer the tomatoes to a bowl.
- We puree the tomatoes (I used a hand blender, you can also use normal blender/mixy too)
- Once the tomatoes are pureed well. We set it aside.
*Crush & Chop Garlic:
- We crush the garlic cloves & chop them finely.
- Freshly crushed & chopped garlic gives a sweet/aromatic garlic flavour to the sauce (we recommend you try it).
- We set it aside.
- Heat a heavy pan, add butter & oil (please keep heat on low).
- Add the crushed & chopped garlic.
- Sauté (so the oil is infused with garlic flavour).
- Add ½ tsp salt (helps in keeping the garlic from burning).
- We sauté for a minute.
- Add the chopped onion & sauté (we increase heat to medium low).
- We cover the pan with a lid & let the onion cook well.
- After a few minutes (3-4 minutes) we open the lid.
- We cook the onions until they are soft & translucent.
- Then we add the dry Oregano (we place it in our palm & rub it between both our palms to help bring out its flavour).
- Add the homemade sambhar/curry powder & sauté (this does not give much heat, if you want more heat add ¼ tsp chilli or pepper powder).
- Then we add the garam masala powder & sauté.
- We sauté for a minute until the raw smell of the curry powder has gone, which takes a few minutes.
- Now we add the tomato puree we prepared earlier. Mix well.
- We cook it on low heat for a few minutes.
- We add salt, sugar (sugar cuts the acidic flavour from the tomatoes & gives depth to the sauce).
- Mix well.
- As the sauce cooks we had ½ cup water & mix well.
- We cover the pan with a lid & let the sauce cook for a few minutes (please keep heat on medium low).
- After 3-4 minutes we open the lid & let the sauce simmer.
- Stir the sauce & check the consistency, the sauce should not be too thick or too watery.
- Once the sauce looks good, we turn off heat & set it aside (the sauce thickens as it cools).
Cooking the Pasta:
- Heat a pot full of water & cover the lid so that the water comes to boil faster. Please keep the heat on high or medium high (we need to make sure the quantity of water is 5-6 times more than the pasta so the pasta cooks well & does not stick to each other).
- Once the water comes to a rolling boil add salt.
- We add the pasta & let it cook. Stir gently so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The cooking time for the pasta has to be as per the package instructions (we recommend that the pasta be prepared towards the end or before you plan to serve).
- The pasta I used took 6-7 minutes to cook. We cook it just right or as all pasta lovers know the term “al dente”.
- Along with the package instructions for the cooking time, we can also check if the pasta is cooked when the pasta turns from chalky like colour to soft & shiny.
- Once the pasta is done, turn off heat. We drain the water.
- We can save a little of the pasta water to thicken the sauce if required.
- After we drain the water from the pasta we transfer the pasta into a big wide bowl (we need to remember that the heat in the pasta will continue to cook the pasta).
Add the Sauce to the Pasta:
- It is important that the sauce be added to the pasta as soon as the pasta is cooked & ready.
- We add the sauce little by little & mix gently (stir the spoon around the bowl & once in the middle of the bowl to mix so that we do not tear the pasta).
- We add the sauce as to our liking.
- The sauce quantity goes perfectly well with the quantity of the pasta.
- Finally we add fresh cream & mix gently. (we recommend that the pasta be cooked after the sauce is prepared so that we can focus on cooking the pasta perfectly & the sauce gets better in taste as it sits).
- Ready to serve.
* Curry/Sambhar Powder – We suggest you use a curry powder that you like & are familiar with. As the ingredients in the curry/sambhar powder vary & when used in an international dish like pasta it might change the complete flavour of the dish, sometimes not in a good way.
*Garam Masala Powder – We suggest you use a garam masala powder you are familiar with, add a little & taste it to check if you like the flavour & then you can add more as per the recipe. Store bought Garam masala powder vary from brand to brand, so take caution. Sometimes it over-powers the dish.