Video recipe showcasing 4 basic penne pasta recipes- an easy and quick tomato basil penne pasta, penne in white sauce with olives, cilantro pesto pasta salad and a chicken pasta bake.
Disclaimer: While I was paid by Del Monte to make the video, this post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own and I do love and use their pastas even when I am not shooting for them.
My last post was a month back! So what’s been up with me in the last month?
Well, mostly client work. Edits. Deadlines. Diwali. Weddings. An aging grandfather 🙁 . And a serious addiction to jezebel.com scary story contest section (more about that below).
One of the things that kept me busy last month was this video I made for Del Monte- penne pasta 4 ways, highlighting the “pastabilities” with a single shape of pasta. The video showcases 4 different basic pasta recipes which everyone should know and have in their repertoire- an easy and quick tomato basil penne pasta, penne in white sauce with olives, cilantro pesto pasta salad and a chicken pasta bake.
The first recipe in the video is a basic tomato and basil pasta. The recipe I used is a variation of this recipe I have posted earlier. It is an even quicker version of the recipe.
The second is penne in white sauce. White sauce is basically a sauce made from butter, flour and milk. The simplest way to make it is to remember the flour and butter are added in equal ratio and for each tablespoon of flour/butter added you add 1/2 cup milk to make the sauce. I generally use 3 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp flour and 1 1/2 cups milk. The key to make a nice creamy sauce is to make sure you add your milk gradually, whisking it as you added so that no lumps are formed. You can add more milk to get the desired consistency if required. To add more flavor you can also add a pinch of nutmeg, chili flakes, herbs.
The third is a cilantro pesto salad. Pesto is traditionally made with basil but since in India, it is not always easily available, this one is a cilantro pesto salad. And also since pine nuts are super expensive in India, made the pesto with walnuts instead. The recipe is similar to my basil and almond pesto and you just need to substitute the basil with the cilantro and the almonds with the walnuts.
The fourth is my chicken pasta bake recipe. I love this pasta recipe and it is great for make ahead dinners. You can find the recipe here.
Coming back to jezebel.com and their scary story contest. Do you love scary stories? The true kinds? Well, then I would suggest get on the site. People have shared their true (or at least what they believe is true) experiences. Some of the stories are paranormal, some involve actual human beings. I think the ones with actual people are more frightening, since there is no doubt that they happened.
I have been on the site almost every free time I have. At night I stay up late to read, then in the morning I narrate the best ones to my parents. If you know me, you know I love scary stuff. I get s**t scared too, but it never stops me from reading or seeing scary movies. I am sharing a few of my favorites from the site below. I haven’t yet gone through all the threads, so if you find a particularly frightening story, please share the link.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 400 gms cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, reserve some for later
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (or make your own by blanching fresh tomatoes, peeling skin off and pureeing it)
- 1 cup pasta water
- dried chilli flakes, to taste
- a few fresh basil leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- 500 gm store bought pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1½ cups warm milk
- 1 tsp dried herbs
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- pinch nutmeg
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup Parmigiano Regiano
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste (the cheese is salty so do taste before adding the salt)
- 2 cups packed fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
- 1 350 grams jar pasta sauce (you could also use homemade and I have a wonderful recipe in the archives)
- 250 grams boneless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 cup mix of mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup cream
- bunch of fresh basil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to instructions on packet, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving the pasta water and drizzle with olive oil.
- In a skillet, drizzle some olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft but not brown
- Add cherry tomatoes, and the crushed tomatoes, rinsing out the can with 1 cup of pasta water and add that to the pan.
- Add the basil and allow to simmer gently on low flame until thickened and reduced, about 40 minutes. You can remove from heat and sieve if required. I did not sieve it. Add the pasta, mix and serve. Season with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
- Heat the butter. Add the chopped garlic and cook till light brown.
- Add the flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms. This makes a roux
- Add the milk to the roux gradually, stirring continuously, until the sauce is smooth. Cook for 5-10 mins, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste. You can add more milk to get the desired consistency if required. To add more flavor you can also add a pinch of nutmeg, chili flakes, herbs. Mix with the cooked pasta and black olives.
- In a food processor, grind the cilantro with walnuts, garlic, and parmesan. With the food processor on, slowly pour the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can keep the pesto covered in the fridge for a week or mix it with some penne, and roasted zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
- Preheat oven to 200° C.
- Combine the chopped chicken with salt and pepper. Add chilli flakes and mix.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chicken and cook on high heat for 5 minutes or lightly browned and just cooked through.
- Add the pasta sauce and the cream. Sprinkle herb mix and check for seasoning. Add some pasta water and let thicken a bit.
- Add pasta, basil and ½ cup cheese and mix through.
- Transfer mixture to an oven safe 8 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese on top and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and is golden brown.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh basil on top and serve pasta bake.