Monday, January 23, 2006

Baked Pasta


Baked Pasta is a very delicious dinner dish that can be put together very quickly. We buy our organic or all natural wholewheat Pasta from Trader's Joes(TJ) - Among the types of dried pasta I've tried so far, I've like 'fusili' the best and 'penne' comes next. Since we do not have a TJ in our state, everytime we go cross country travelling, we make sure to stock up from the TJ's in those states. Boy! I miss TJ. All other health food shops are very expensive when compared to TJ's.
Dried Pasta - Fusili/Penne - 1 lb
Tomatoes - 3, chopped fine
Onions - 2, chopped fine
Carrots - 3, chopped into 1" strips
Broccoli - 2 cups (frozen)
Green Peas - 1 cup
Garlic - 2 flakes crushed with a pestle and mortar
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil - 2-3 tbsp
Cheese - Mozzarella/Cheddar - 4 oz, cut in chunks
Dried Basil/Oregano - 1 tsp

Prepare pasta according to the instructions in the package - Toss pasta and about 1/2 tsp salt in about 4 quarts of boiling water and let it cook for about 10 mins. Keep stirring regularly with a wooden spatula. Drain in a colander and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Keep aside.
Heat very little oil in a sauce pan and saute the onions lightly. Transfer this to a bowl. Then saute, crushed garlic and chopped tomatoes in the same pan for about 2-3 mins and transfer to another bowl. Wipe the sauce pan with a kitchen paper and add some more oil and saute the carrots and broccoli and green peas and dried herbs for about 2 mins. The saute-ing of veggies is done for making the veggies slightly coated in oil and not for cooking the vegetables. Switch off the stove and toss in the cooked pasta, the saute-ed onions and tomatoes and garlic, salt (the lesser the better) and freshly crushed black pepper and stir once.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Apply aluminium foil on a baking dish and grease it with olive oil. Transfer the pasta from the pan to the baking dish. Bake for 10 mins. Then, top the pasta with the chunks of cheese (the more the better) and bake until the cheese melts (watch closely). Do not overbake. Serve piping hot!
This is my usual recipe and it is a delicious way to eat your 5-a-day. The picture shows less veggies because I was short on broccoli and carrots when I made this dish. And yes, we always use organic cheese for many reasons. You can also add more veggies (root veggies don't work though) of your choice.

6 comments:

Garam Masala said...

Kay-

May I say your new layout looks fabulous! Also, cool idea of putting up a list of recipes you would like to try on your side bar!

This pasta dish looks great. Delicious picture too:)

Gini said...

Kay...That looks great! I love pasta...and btw I moved to wordpress.
Check it out.

Anthony said...

Wow!!! That looks great.. Didn;t know pasta could be baked..

Kay said...

Thanks Garam masala! The previous template had some quirky problem and I wanted to add more stuff...so I changed the template. I'm glad you like it. And yes, It is delicious.

Thanks Gini, yes, I do check your wordpress blog. It's nice.

Thanks Anthony, yes, it can be baked! but don't overbake. The pasta will turn hard.

Courtney said...

Hey Kay~

Just giving you a heads up: We've quoted a blurb of yours in our 'Wise Words' sideblog at Naughty Curry. It is so well-put, interesting, and fitting to ourlatest health-conscious post.

We'll be staying tuned to your blog now that we've discovered it. Kudos to you!

Kay said...

Thanks Courtney! That was very nice of you. I had a quick glimpse at your blog too, before I came back to post a thanks here. It's a very interesting blog. I'll add you to my fav blogs list so that I visit often.