Bacon Spaghetti Aglio Olio!

Aglio e Olio is one of the most basic pasta sauce made from garlic and oil. By making the aglio olio with fat left from cooking bacon,  the classic spaghetti aglio olio is taken up a notch.

Bacon Spaghetti Aglio Olio

One of my favorite food bloggers is Richa, from My Food Story. I love her recipes and she had posted this recipe for bacon spaghetti aglio olio a while back and I had made a mental note to try the recipe out soon. Soon came much later, but I am glad it did.

I love bacon fat- it’s the secret ingredient when I make scrambled eggs at home. So I knew I would love it in my spaghetti aglio olio. I used my regular aglio olio recipe, which is adapted from Ina Garten’s and added Richa’s twist of bacon to it. The result – a quick weeknight dinner which will have you licking your bowls.

If you are a fellow bacon lover, this bacon spaghetti aglio olio is a must to try. Its quick, easy and absolutely delicious.

Read More →

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. 

Del Monte Penne Pastabilities from Shumaila Chauhan on Vimeo.

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.

Tomato and basil pasta

 

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.

Cilantro Pesto pasta Salad

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.

Easy Chicken and Mushroom pasta Bake

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. The one about Alice and Jim
  2. Look at me
  3. The one with the girl in Cincinnati 

Also, if you try any of these recipes please do tag me on instagram, Facebook, twitter or leave a comment here.

Read More →

This pasta salad is full of flavor from fresh tomatoes, roasted bell pepper and black olives. Tossed with an easy to make dressing, and fresh parsley and making use of whole wheat penne makes a quick and healthy lunch or is perfect to make ahead for a picnic or lunchbox.

Roasted bell pepper and black olive pasta salad

I don’t know if you have tried the TSRI’s pasta salad from the blog, but it’s one of my favorite pasta salads. This roasted bell pepper and black olive pasta salad recipe is adapted from that recipe and if you love pasta salads you will love this one.

Roasting bell pepper is one of my favorite things to do, so much so that I love to use it in my indian tomato based curries too. My homemade pasta sauce also uses roasted red bell pepper. The added flavor that roasted bell pepper imparts to a sauce, or salad is absolutely amazing.

Roasted bell pepper and black olive pasta salad

Roasted bell pepper and black olive pasta salad

Its really hot here in India. Hot and humid. We have got no rains so far, with the clouds teasing us almost every other day. Entering the kitchen to cook is something I dread, because I know I will come out feeling like taking a shower immediately. Recipes like this easy pasta salad where the only cooking involved is cooking the pasta, and the oven takes care of the roasting bit, are a welcome respite.

I have been thinking of starting a small herb garden. We do grow mint and for a brief period had successfully grown thyme and oregano too. In US, I had a flourishing basil plant and there was always more basil than I could use. Every time I make pasta or pizza, I tell myself I should grow basil, parsely, thyme at home instead of traveling 30 minutes for a small bunch of these herbs.

Using fresh herbs always makes a difference to your salads, or the sauces used in pastas and pizzas. I would recommend using fresh whenever you can.

If you try this recipe, do please tag me on any of the following platforms- instagram, facebook, twitter or leave a comment here.

Read More →