A box of bow tie pasta has been lying in my pantry for months now. I bought it for my neighbor's little one who loves pasta, but then we moved from NY. I was not sure how myself and V will like it if I prepare it in Italian or American way. Like every other week, I thought of including it in this week's menu and coincidentally my coworker gave me some fresh basil and oregano leaves. Now I couldn't find any excuse. Hence the pasta fusion was born :-)) Thanks to my coworker for sharing the fresh and aromatic herbs.
Ingredients from my pantry
Bow tie pasta - 2 cups
Water - 8 cups
Salt - 1 tsp or to taste
Basil and Oregano leaves - few
For the Sauce:
Tomato (medium) - 1 1/4 finely chopped or crushed
Onion (medium) - 1/4 finely chopped
Garlic - 2 large flakes
Ginger - Thin slice or 1 tsp or finely chopped ginger
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - pinch
Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - pinch
White pepper - pinch
Green peas (frozen) - 1/4 cup
Thin slab of paneer - around 25 gm (cut it in thin slices just like grated cheese that we get in the stores)
Basil leaves - 2 or 3 leaves
Oregano leaves - 1 sprig
Water - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice - 1 or 2 tsp
In a large sauce pan, add water, bring it to boil. Add salt, pasta, 2 basil leaves, 4 oregano leaves and cook for 11-12 minutes (11 for firm and 12 for tender). I wanted the pasta to be tender so I cooked it for 12 minutes. I would recommend you to follow the instructions given in the wrapper or box. I have added herbs to add an additional flavor to pasta.
After 12 minutes, strain the water in a colander. You can reserve this water for later use in the sauce.
In another pan, add oil, when it is hot add ginger, garlic and saute until it starts changing color. Add onion and fry until golden brown. Add tomato and let it cook with lid closed for 5-6 minutes or until oil separates.
Add green peas and let it blend with the sauce. Keep stirring in regular intervals for 1 or 2 minutes. I have used frozen green peas and it does not require much cooking and it turns soft as soon as you add it in the pan. Add 1 or 2 tbsp water if the sauce sticks to the pan.
Add pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp full of chili powder, 1/4 tsp of cumin powder, pinch of white pepper and garam masala powder, salt and mix it well. Fry it for 30-40 seconds. Now add oregano leaves, basil leaves mix it with the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of water (used for cooking pasta or fresh water). Add more water if required but not more than 1/4 cup.
Cook for couple of minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Now add the Indian cheese - paneer and mix it well with the sauce.
Then add pasta and blend it nicely with the sauce. Cook for 1 minute as you stir. Remove from flame, squeeze some lime and serve it hot.
I don't like the garlic chunks in my dish?
Please feel free to use the minced garlic or garlic paste. You can also reduce it to 1 garlic instead of two.
What if I don't have Oregano or basil leaves?
You can ignore them, as these herbs are used to give an additional flavor to the dish.
Why does my pasta become soggy?
You are not following the instruction given in the wrapper :-) Do add salt which will prevent pasta from sticking to each other.
Can I add any other veggies?
Yes, you can throw some carrot, beans or pepper. Too much of veggies might spoil the dish.