Kiddie Pasta

Mushroom, Green Olives and Penne in white sauce.

Mushroom, Green Olives and Penne in white sauce.

Beautiful fresh white button mushrooms, pickled green olives and piped penne in a smooth creamy white sauce with minimal seasoning is all that it takes to put smiles on grumpy faces.

Today, when I refused to bow down to Milee’s absurd gambits for some more TV time, she resigned to her room with a sullen face. With a few pretty neat tricks up my sleeve, I just knew how to win her back. All mother’s have secret weapons. Yea, ask anyone.
Mine was to dish up this simple concoction of Milee’s favorite veggies, pickled olives and pasta. I avoided the tomatoes and extra heat to spare us another brawl. Needless to say, she licked it clean.

Comfort food.

Comfort food.

This recipe is so quick, you’ll be surprised. I was serving the drama queen in a matter of 15 minutes. If you are not a mushroom fan, substitute it with another vegetable of your child’s choice.

To make one serving —

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup boiled penne, or any pasta of your choice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6-7 white button mushrooms, diced
  • 8-9 pickled green olives, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper powder and red chili flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp grated cheese

Method

Since I was short on time, I followed these simple steps to quicken my pace.

  • For the pasta, put water to boil. Add salt and little oil.
  • Heat oil in a pan, meanwhile, quickly chop the onions and mushrooms.
  • check on the water, if its boiling, then add the pasta. To avoid the pasta turning into mush, always add pasta to boiling water.
  • Once hot add the onions and mushrooms.
  • Saute till almost done.
  • Add the flour, let it coat the veggies.
  • Check on the pasta, when almost done, switch the flame off, cover with lid and keep aside.
  • Now, add milk to your floured veggies.
  • Mix well into a smooth creamy white sauce, adjust the milk accordingly.
  • Add in the seasoning, salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
  • Now, strain the pasta and add to the white sauce.
  • Stir in grated cheese and sliced olives.
  • Give it a final mix.
  • Serve with love!
Tangy olives and chewy mushrooms. Yumm

Tangy olives and chewy mushrooms.Yumm

Kiddie Delight.

Kiddie Delight.

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Stuffed Crunchy Bread

Crunchy bread stuffed with vegetables and cheese.

Crunchy bread stuffed with vegetables and cheese.

Breads! A fabulous loaf is all that you need to satiate those cruel hunger pangs. I personally know lots of people who ‘love and live’ on bread. There are scores of things that you can do with this heavenly carb. I tried this new version, where we stuff the insides of a plain variety with veggies and top it with cheese and bake to crunchy perfection! Usually I complete my meal, by making a soup with it. This time it was a mushroom-broccoli blend. I need not elaborate on the absoluteness of our supper.

Cant resist this.

Cant resist this.

You can use any type of loaf or buns or rolls. I used burger buns, but the only problem I faced was, they were kinda small to be stuffed. The entire process got a little painful. So I would suggest, use a long loaf, like a french bread or something.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole wheat french loaf or any italian bread
  • 1 green capsicum, minced
  • 1/4 cup red and yellow bell peppers, minced
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, minced – optional
  • 1/4 cup broccoli, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced – optional
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3 tbsp pizza sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Grated cheese
  • spring onion greens to garnish

Method

Make “X” like incisions on your bread, taking care not to cut through it. The “X” should be deep enough to fill but not slice the bread apart.

Neat deep cuts on your bread.

Neat deep cuts on your bread.

To prepare the filling –
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil, saute garlic, onions and green chilies. I added the chilies, since we like our food spicy. You could avoid the extra heat if you like. Next throw in the minced veggies. I minced them, coz the smaller, the better to fill. Now add the pizza sauce, and saute on high till all extra water evaporates. It should not be of runny consistency. Sprinkle italian seasoning, salt and red chili flakes according to taste. Keep aside.

Preheat Oven at 150 degree C.
To Proceed –
Mix 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Take your X marked bread. Now carefully, pour the olive butter mix into the incisions. Smaller the spoon the better. Then, patiently, stuff your veggies into it, using a butter knife to push it down. Top with grated cheese.

Ready to be baked.

Ready to be baked.

Now wrap the entire ensemble tightly in an aluminium foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap, and bake open for another 5-7 minutes, until all your cheese has melted into perfection. Mine, was slightly charred, since the husband likes it extra crisp. I would rather prefer a molten golden look. But, trust me, when you take one bite, your neighbor will hear the crunch;)

Sprinkle with chopped spring onion greens and serve with ketchup or Tabasco.

Can't say no this one!

Can’t say no this one!

Gooey and Cheesy.

Gooey and Cheesy.

A must try.

A must try.

Pasta Corn Rolls

Pasta, with yellow corn, red and green bell peppers in a creamy white sauce with a cube of cheese in the center, is one the best appetizers ever. Its rich, with a crisp golden exterior and a wonderful creamy soft interior. Wow. One bite into it, and you’ll want more.

Whats good about this recipe is, you can make the filling and the roll in advance. Refrigerate the unfried croquettes. Deep fry when you want to serve. They will be crisper and crunchier.

I made these the other day as an entrée, when husband called his friend over for dinner. They vanished in no time, and the main course was left mostly untouched.

Crisp Pasta Rolls

Crisp Pasta Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pasta, any kind, penne, fusilli, shell, macaroni, any type would do – boiled well, more than al dente.
  • 7-8 bread slices
  • 1/2 cup corn, boiled
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers of different colors, red, yellow, green, orange.
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced.
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1/2 tsp oregano powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves — I love this!
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Optional: 7-8 small cubes of cheese
  • oil for frying
  • Ketchup to serve with

You can go easy on the spice – green chilies according to your taste. We like our food a little spicy, so I added 3 minced green chilies. Along with the bread, cream, pasta… the whole thing might get bland if you don’t add a little bit of extra spice and salt.

Method

As mentioned earlier, the pasta needs to be boiled well, in fact a little over. Now strain and keep aside. In a pan, heat butter, saute the green chilies, bell peppers and corn. Once 3/4th done, add flour and mix well. Let the flour coat the vegetables. Now to this add milk, and mix well, to get a smooth white sauce with vegetables. Keep stirring on high flame, till it gets thick. Now add the boiled pasta, along with oregano, red chili flakes and salt. Throw in the chopped coriander and mix well. Keep on flame till it thickens and becomes semi solid mass. Now, cool the mixture.

Take a bread slice, dip it water, quickly remove and press the excess water out. Take care not to break the slices. Now take a tbsp of the filling, place it in the middle of the wet bread slice, and then wrap the bread over the corn pasta mix. Use your fingers and palms to make a tight oval-shaped ball. Press firmly. Keep aside. Now do the same with the rest of the bread slices and pasta mix.

Optional: If you are using cheese cubes also, then take a small cube, place the cube in the middle of the filling which is placed on the wet bread slice. Then close the whole thing up. This ensures, the cheese is in the middle of the pasta which is enclosed in crunchy golden bread. Ooooh!

Yet to be fried.

Yet to be fried.

I usually refrigerate the neatly pressed rolls for a couple of hours.
When you need to serve, heat oil in a kadai. Remove the rolls from the fridge, and deep fry in hot oil, on medium flame till golden brown and crisp.
Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into equal halves, arrange on a bed of lettuce along with some salad by the side. If you have used cheese, when you cut the roll, spot the melted cheese surrounded by the bell pepper corn pasta, in a case of crisp fried bread. Wow, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Serve them hot with ketchup and any other dip you like.

Deep Fried till golden brown

Deep Fried till golden brown

All those colors!

All those colors!

Spinach Corn Spaghetti

He hates spinach, I love it. He does not enjoy his noodles. I can live on them. The love hate list is a long one.
God does queer things. The Good Lord puts harmony in two distinctively different entities, coercing us to strike a balance and let the wheels run.
We do make the wheels run. Haltingly, stoppingly. But we make it run. That’s how the Ferrari of marriage works.

With great apprehension I cook this pasta. Ready to battle the “urgh spinach” faces, and nasty scowls. I serve it with hope.
He doesn ‘t get carried away by the appealing looks of his supper. Slowly he digs in. And after the first bite… the rest they say is history.
Milee calls it ‘hotely taste’. I take it as a complement. Hungry husband doesn’t look up or make small talk while he eats. Devours it with an unparalleled zeal. I take that as a complement too.

Spinach puree on a bed of soft pasta

Spinach pureed on a bed of soft pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of thin spaghetti, boiled al dente
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed, blanched
  • ¼ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 green chili
  • a fistful of coriander leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 spoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • Garnish: Parmesan Cheese

Method

Grind blanched spinach, coriander leaves and a green chili into a fine paste. Heat butter in a skillet. Add in the corn kernels. Saute on high. Now, put the flour and milk. Keep stirring to make a smooth white sauce. Now add the spinach puree, along with salt, pepper powder and Italian seasoning.
Stir to get all the stuff together. Now you will have a bright green sauce, which looks sooo good…. sure to make others go green with envy.
Place your spaghetti in a bowl, topple some of this sauce over it, garnish with grated cheese. Serve with olives, hot sauce, toasted garlic bread and a fabulous drink. Makes for a perfect meal.

Toasted bread and an ice-cold drink, is all that you need to enjoy your bowl of pasta

Toasted bread and an ice cold drink, is all that you need to enjoy your bowl of pasta

Note: To preserve the color of the leaves, dip the spinach in hot water for a couple of minutes, and then immediately shock them in cold water. This retains the beautiful color.

Note: Always remember to put in your uncooked pasta in boiling hot water. This will make sure the pasta doesn’t turn into a lump and take care not to over cook them.

Especially for pasta lovers

Especially for pasta lovers