Friday, June 22, 2012

Veggie Pasta Bake

This one goes out to my lovely Friend A, who had asked for this recipe ages ago.
We started out as colleagues , I still remember when I first saw her I thought she was newly wed bride, with full Mehendi on both her arms and looking gorgeous as ever.
We bonded instantly and were in the same team for only a year sadly after which we were moved to different projects.
But we still  keep in touch and used to meet up over lunch or Breakfast at office.
Now we are in different locations so kep in touch via the phone or chat.
We met up recently and took the ride on Namma Metro :) ... We need to meet up again, its been a while now.
She is such a warm and loving person and makes friends very easily.

Moreover she is a wonderful cook. (One of these days will be knocking on your door with a pen and book in hand to jot them down)
We guessed that from the samples we had from her lunch box, but got the full blast of it when she invited a bunch of us to her home for an Iftar feast during the holy month of Ramzan.
And OMG what a spread she had for us.
It was difficult to believe that she had prepared all that while observing the fast.
I tasted my first faluda that day ....
Every dish was YUMMM...

So here goes the recipe:

1 cup cooked pasta (I used spaghetti, cooked as per pack instructions with a pinch of salt and some pepper. Any pasta can be used)
1 onion - medium size
2 tomatoes
7-8 cloves of garlic
3-4 Green chillies (If you can take the heat, else reduce to 1-2)
1TBSP Butter
Salt to taste
3-4 tsp Oregano + little extra for seasoning while baking
2 tsp Chilli Flakes (Avoid if wary of heat)
4 cubes of Cheddar Cheese (40g) - Grated (I used Amul)

For the White Sauce:
The ratio of Plain Flour/Maida:Butter:Milk is 1:1:10
So if your taking one small measure of Flour take the same measure of butter and 10 times milk(can dilute the milk with water as well, i.e. 5 measure of water and 5 measure of milk).
I played around with the ratio for the right consistency and used
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Flour
1C of Liquid (1/2 C of Milk and 1/2 C of water)


White sauce:
Heat the butter in a pan, once its melted add the Flour in small amounts and stir around till the raw smell goes (do not wait for it to brown).
Now add the milk little by little and keep stirring to avoid lumps.

Mix well on low heat and let it come to boil.
Once its nice and smooth, you can add 2 block of grated cheese (Optional) 
Mix it well turn off the heat and remove from the stove top.

Creating a rough Tomato sauce:

Saute the garlic and onions in 2 TSP of butter till they turn transparent (do not allow it brown)
Now add the chopped tomatoes and mix everything together.
Close the lid and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes till the tomatoes are nice and tender. Keep checking to avoid burning.
Once the tomatoes are done add the chili flakes and oregano. Salt to taste

Grease an oven proof dish (Used borosil) with some butter on all sides and the bottom.
Layer the tomato sauce first.
Place a portion of the cooked pasta.
Top with white sauce.
Repeat this till you've used up all the elements.
The top most layer should be the white sauce, enough to cover the pasta on all the corners.
Sprinkle 2-3 cubes of grated cheddar cheese if you wish

Bake in a pre - heated oven at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till the top turns golden brown.

Veggie Pasta Bake

That's the cheese on the top as I felt lazy to grate it, I just tore it up to small bits and spread over the top.
I came across some Lasagna sheets recently during our monthly grocery shopping, cant wait to try it out .

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