If I had a plate of creamy white pasta and pasta in red sauce to choose from, I would, in a heartbeat, choose the latter. Although I love creamy pastas, I play favourites with the red, saucy kinds. Tomato-based pastas are fuss-free, require very little effort and are incredibly tasty.
I will be shortly travelling to Europe and I look forward to having amazing food. Yes, pasta is definitely on my list. I will share some of my food adventures with you here on the page.
Now coming to the recipe, I have used simple ingredients that you can play around with to customise the flavours. This linguine in herby tomato mushroom sauce is hearty, comforting and delish.
I love this for days when I can’t be too bothered to make an elaborate meal. It is easy and requires so little effort that before you realise you have a plateful of tasty meal waiting to be devoured.
Zoodles in Tomato and Basil Sauce (Spiralised zucchini pasta)
It’s official! I am in love with my spiraliser! This gadget makes consuming vegetables a very enjoyable thing.
Zucchini noodles AKA zoodles is one my favourite spiralised item. It is healthier, lighter and tastier alternative to pasta. With a fraction of the calories compared to regular spaghetti or other pasta varieties, zoodles makes a great pasta replacement for those on a low carb/calorie, paleo, grain-free and gluten-free diets.
This pasta dish gets done in no time, and packs a lot of nutrition. This is a great way to get kids who are fussy with vegetables to get a good serving of vegetables in their diet.
Zucchini (Large) – 1
For the Sauce:
Juicy cherry tomatoes (or regular tomatoes) – 1 cup
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled and finely chopped
Fresh Basil – 8 to 10 leaves + a few more to garnish
Tomato paste/passata/tomato ketchup – 1 tbslpn.
Olive oil – ½ tblspn.
Chilli flakes (optional) – ½ tspn.
Salt and Pepper – To taste
Trim the ends of the zucchini. I did not peel the zucchini, you could peel it if you prefer consuming the vegetable that way.
Spiralise the zucchini using the noodle blades. I cut the zucchini in half, and spiralised it with the small and large noodle blade. Keep aside.
Chop 8 to 10 basil leaves.
Optionally, you could cut the cherry tomatoes if you like. I chose to keep it whole to allow it to break down while cooking.
Heat oil in a skillet or pan.
Add the garlic, and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
Toss in the cherry tomatoes.
Keep stirring the tomatoes and garlic. Allow the tomatoes to break down and release the juices.
Mash a few tomatoes with the back of the ladle to make a sauce out of it.
At this stage, add the tomato paste, passata or ketchup and chilli flakes. Give it a mix. You could also add a few tablespoons of water to make the mixture thick and saucy.
Add the chopped basil. Give it a mix to combine the sauce and the herbs.
Finally, add the spiralised zucchini noodles, and stir for about a minute.
Once done, remove the pasta from the stove.
Place them in serving bowls, and garnish with basil leaves.
- I used a spiraliser to make zucchini noodles. You could use a mandoline slicer or julienne peeler that can do the job.
- Add other fresh or dried herbs of your choice to make the pasta flavoursome.
- You can skip cooking the zucchini and mix the raw zoodles to the sauce.
- Add other vegetables in the sauce to pack more nutrition.
- Sprinkle some grated cheese for added flavour.
The newest addition to my kitchen – the vegetable spiraliser is fast becoming one of my favourite gadgets. It is easy to use; the veggies look lovely and interesting when spiralised too. I have spiralised veggies including cucumbers, zucchinis, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The results have been nothing but enjoyable.
I have been trying out a few things with this gadget, and with each use, I grow fonder of it. Did I mention that I love it?
This cucumber salad is super simple and is a great side for main meals. It has everyday ingredients and is easy to put together. As a bonus, it looks better when served compared to a simply sliced or diced vegetable.
This salad is everything summer, tasty and healthy.
I am looking forward to sharing more spiraliser recipes with you all as I discover fun things to make with this. No spiraliser? No problem! You could use a mandoline slicer or just about a knife to work these recipes out as well.
Cucumbers – 2 (peeled or unpeeled take your pick)
Onion – ½, finely chopped
Chilli flakes (optional) – ½ tspn. Adjust according to your preference
Lemon juice – 1 tblspn.
Salt and pepper – To taste
Spiralise the cucumbers. I used the thin noodle blade.
Place them in a strainer to let the excess water drain out.
If you are serving it immediately, you can skip the previous step and proceed to the next step.
In a serving bowl, combine the onions, spiralised cucumbers, chilli flakes and lemon juice. Mix them all well.
Finally, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
- Add/omit spices depending on your preference.
- I have kept the salad basic. you could add veggies or dressing depending on your preference.
Bless the Italians for creating pasta! The oh-so-versatile noodle is a lifesaver in the kitchen. It works great as mains for dinner/lunch, salads and soups.
There are thousands of things you could make with pasta. Soupy, saucy, dry, hot or cold, take your pick. Today, though, I am making a stir fried vegetables and pasta mix.
This recipe idea comes from my sister dearest who made me want to try making a pasta dish that was not saucy or creamy. This is one power-packed meal with nutritious vegetables and wholesome pasta.
Ideal for lunchboxes and for quick weeknight dinners, this pasta could be frozen for up to a week for make-ahead meals. How convenient, right?
You’re welcome. ;)
Play around with this recipe, add vegetables and condiments of your choice, and you will have a pasta dish to love.
Pasta - 2 cups (I used the shell variety, use any of you choice)
Water – To boil the pasta
Onion – 1
Garlic – 2 cloves
Capsicum (coloured) – ¼ each
Brussels sprouts – 5
Spring onions/green onions/scallions – 2 stalks, white and green parts
Spinach – A small handful
Fresh basil and parsley (Use 2 tspns dried if you don’t have fresh) – ½ tblspn.
Oil – 1 tblspoon
Chilli flakes (optional) – 1 tspn.
Salt and pepper – To taste
Ketchup/passata – 2 tblspns.
Cheese (optional) – To taste
Clean and chop the vegetables. Keep aside. Reserve some of the spring onion green trimmings for garnish before serving.
If you’re using fresh herbs, chop them up and keep aside.
Cook pasta according to pasta instructions. Drain, and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant.
Toss in the spring onions and cook for about a minute.
Add the Brussels sprouts, sauté for a few minutes.
Follow it up by adding the capsicum.
Mix the vegetables well.
Add the ingredients listed under ‘Condiments’. Sprinkle a little water and mix it all to ensure the vegetables are coated in the condiments. At this stage, add the dried herbs (if you are using them).
Check if the vegetables are cooked; ensure they are not overcooked as it can turn the whole dish soggy.
Finally add the spinach and a part of the chopped fresh herbs. Allow the greens to wilt a bit.
Now, it is time to add the pasta to the vegetables.
Combine all the ingredients well to get a good mix of vegetables and pasta.
Sprinkle some cheese and the remaining fresh herbs.
- Add/omit vegetables based on your preference.
- You could add flavoured salts and other spices to make the dish more interesting.
- Store in a clean, dry and freezer/microwave-safe box to use this for later.
- Take the heat down if you are making this for children.
Pasta-based salads are a favourite with a lot of people. In fact, the common sight at salad bars is people indulging in a large serving of pasta salad with that extra helping or two of mayonnaise/aoli/sour cream.
How cool would it be to have a not-so-fatty version of the salad? Before you utter ‘alas’, let me assure you there is a way to enjoy the salad without worrying about it being too rich or fatty.
You can now savour the same creamy salad with loads of vegetables & a flavourful low-fat, creamy yoghurt dressing. Add as many salad vegetables you like and top it with the dressing for that ‘ah-mazing’ salad.
Pasta – 1 cup
Low fat Greek yoghurt – ¼ cup (any regular or low-fat yoghurt works well )
Onion – 1, peeled and roughly chopped
Cherry/grape or regular tomatoes – 1 handful/1; halved or roughly chopped depending on the type of tomato you choose
Cucumber – 1, roughly chopped
Capsicum – ½, deseeded and roughly chopped
Salad greens – 1 large handful
Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tblspn.
Cumin powder/ground cumin – ¼ tspn.
Red chilli flakes – ½ tspn.
Fresh or dried herbs – 1 tblspn.
Salt and pepper – To season
Choose short pasta varieties like macaroni, fusilli, penne, farfalle, rigatoni, etc.
Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain the water completely.
In a large bowl, add the pasta and drizzle some olive oil over it. This will help keep the pasta from sticking.
Add the vegetables to the pasta. Give it a mix, and refrigerate it.
While the pasta is cooling, prepare the creamy yoghurt dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk the yoghurt smooth. Add the ground cumin, salt, pepper, herbs and chilli flakes.
Give it all a good mix. Ensure the dressing is free of lumps.
Pour the dressing over the refrigerated salad. Mix to combine all the ingredients.
Put the salad back in the fridge to cool.
Serve chilled with a layer of salad greens.
Note: This pasta can be served cold or in room temperature. Skip the refrigeration process if you don’t like your salad cold.
- Vegetables like boiled corn kernels/peas, carrots, cabbage and beetroot taste great with this salad.
- Adjust the chilli flake or cumin powder quantity depending on your preference.
- I used chilli flavoured extra virgin oil, use plain or other flavoured extra virgin olive oil.
- Use finely chopped garlic or garlic powder for added flavour.