Here’s a simple and easy vegetarian pasta dish that you can prepare in about 20 minutes. It’s light and healthy but packed with flavor. But don’t let it’s lightness fool you. Zesty chilies and Indian spices amp up the flavor and give it an Indian kick.
I prefer rustic foods, so my recipes are fairly no-muss no-fuss. I don’t peel my tomatoes. I just core them and dice them. If you prefer no skins, you may blanch your tomatoes and peel them ahead of time.
Because it’s wintertime, I use ghee instead of oil. The buttery flavor adds an extra and unexpected character to this dish I enjoy a lot. I also respect the health benefits of eating ghee this time of year.
Note: If you’re an olive fan, you can add a small can of black olives to this recipe.
Preparation time: approx. 20 minutes
1 package of pasta, can be any shape, we use macaroni
1 package of fresh button mushrooms, sliced
5 medium to large tomatoes, chopped
4 spring onions with tops (if you can’t find spring onions, substitute 1 large onion, chopped)
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 green chilies
6 fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black peppercorns
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp corriander powder
1/8 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 Tb ghee or olive oil
While you’re waiting for your pasta water to boil, prepare your vegetables, basil and garlic. When ingredients are sliced and chopped and ready to go, and the water is boiling and ready to receive the pasta, go ahead and add the pasta. It should take approximately 9 minutes (average) to cook.
While your pasta is boiling, add the ghee or oil to a fry pan or small wok called a kadhai and heat on medium high. When the ghee/oil is hot, test by dropping a few pieces of peppercorn in. If it sizzles, it’s ready and you can add the rest of the cracked peppercorns. Let sizzle for a minute then reduce heat to medium. Add your garlic and mushrooms and saute. When mushrooms are about half cooked, add the sliced spring onions and basil and continue tossing until cooked. Add the tomatoes, chilies and the spices and let tomatoes cook down until they’ve created a nice juice but there are still bits of tomato intact.
When your pasta is done, drain off the water and add to the tomato mixture. Toss and serve.