Pasta Special - Soup, Salad and Bake
Different types of Pasta
The word pasta is rather generic. There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes that you can find pasta in. Essentially it is wheat dough shaped in various ways. It could be long like noodles (Spaghetti), or short little tubes (Macaroni or Penne).
It could be filled with a stuffing of meat (Callenoli) or layered sheets with sauces (Lasagne). It could be small ring shaped (Anelli) used for soup or like fan and bow shaped (Farfalle). The Italians at last count had more than 250 different types of pasta.
The truth is we generally just pick up a pretty shaped dry pasta packet and then proceed to cook it. So all the different techniques and shapes that the Italians associate with pasta need not be understood if all you want to do is make a pasta salad to eat for brunch on Sunday.
This is my husband's favourite soup. We have it at least once a week in the winters. Summers we tend to go off soups due to the heat. Anyway, here's how you make it.
2 cups of stock (You can use a vegetarian stock cube or ready made chicken stock)
1/2 cup short tube pasta (Penne or Macaroni will do fine) cooked al dente.
1 spring onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 pods of garlic crushed and minced
1 teaspoon of Oregano
Salt and Pepper to Taste.
In a vessel heat the olive oil, add the garlic and saute till it slightly changes color.
Add the chopped spring onion and toss till some what cooked.
Now add the stock to the vessel.
Bring stock to boil and add pasta, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with Garlic Bread Sticks.
The best dinner that you can eat while dieting. It was my standard diet for over a month before I finally lost interest in it.
2 cups of cooked Farfalle pasta (You can use any shape you like from the short pasta selection. I just like this twisty shape so I use this one.)
6-10 olives (I use a mix of both green and black to enhance the appeal of the dish, after all we eat with the eyes much before we actually taste the dish.)
1 cup sliced peppers (Again I use red, yellow and green peppers to enhance the visual appeal of the dish.)
2-3 cloves of garlic minced finely
4-5 Sweet and Sour Gerkins (sliced into round bits, this one is optional, but I like the added punch it gives to the salad)
1 onion finely sliced
1 teaspoon of vinaigrette dressing (I use Fun foods, but you can use any you have)
1 teaspoon of salad seasoning powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients to a large dish and toss well together.
Leave it in the fridge for half an hour to chill before eating.
Serve with crusty brown bread.
Now is that easy or what?!
A main dish that can also be a one dish meal.This one is not quite as healthy as the soup and the salad thanks to the cheese that is used, but its still quite yummy. In fact its the infamous mac n cheese. Only this time its not made from a packet but from scratch. You can adjust the ingredients a bit if you want it to be more cheesy. It is also possible to grate some extra cheese onto the dish once you get it out of the over before you serve it. It just about begins to melt from the heat and can be quite yummy.
2 cups of cooked pasta (the twisty kind works well)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheese (Cheddar is good, but you can use whatever appeals to you)
1 small onion finely sliced
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon of flour
A pinch of mustard powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a heavy bottomed pan add the butter and heat.
Then add the onion and saute till it is translucent.
Now add the flour and roast it till the raw smell is gone.
Add the cup of milk, salt, pepper and mustard powder.
Stir well and bring to a boil.
Now add the pasta to the baking dish and pour the sauce on top.
Garnish with some grated cheese and pop into the oven for ten minutes to bake.