|This is good enough as a main dish|
Baked pasta with veggies
You know there are some of those days when you are craving something, it is so bad that its all you can think of while driving to work, images of pasta bubbling in a gooey cheese sauce stare at you in the face when you’re editing copy, when you open your lunch dabba you’re almost praying that the cook/mom had a stroke of brilliance and packed in some mac n’ cheese. To cut the long story short, it was one of those days. I wanted pasta. It has to be baked and that was that.
By the time I got home from work, I knew what I was going to have for dinner. And by then I was also aware that the rumble in my tummy was getting so loud that I knew I didn’t have enough time to make a tomato sauce or even quickly whip up a cheese sauce. So I did the next best thing – raided the fridge, tossed in a little bit of something or the other and topped it all with Parmesan cheese, you know that thing they say about how anything topped with cheese makes it more delectable? And just popped it into the oven. Dinner was ready in a matter of minutes.
This one was light and easy on the stomach, its devoid of butter or cream or even milk, I served it with some soup and bread to round off the meal.
2 cups of pasta, cooked according to instructions on the packet – I used macaroni and a little bit of the shell pasta that was leftover
1 medium sized onion, sliced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 capsicum, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of black olives, chopped
Some jalapenos, chopped – add as per your taste
2 tsp of dried herbs
½ tsp of chilli flakes
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated
In a large baking dish add the vegetables and the pasta, stir in the olive oil, herbs, chilli flakes and salt. Mix it all well until the oil and herbs have coated all the pasta.
|The veggies also get roasted beautifully in the oven that lends a unique flavour to this dish|
Check the seasoning; remember you’re adding cheese that has some salt in it so be careful not to over salt the dish.
|Make sure the olive oil and herbs coat all of the pasta|
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the pasta and the veggies. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius or until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown. Serve hot with some bread.
* Add any vegetables of your choice to perk up this dish. I was in a hurry so I just went with what was at hand.
* If you find the dish is a little too dry, add a spoonful or two of milk. You’ll also get a slightly creamier consistency.
* Use two kinds of cheese to up the taste of the dish. You can also skip the herbs and add some freshly crushed black peppercorns or even a dash of pesto.