My introduction to pasta was fairly recent. It came about when five years ago I first visited Big Chill, the “iconic” eatery in Khan Market, Delhi. However, it wasn’t the pasta so much that took me there but their yummy desserts and shakes. However, I will stick to the pasta story for now.
So then. It made for good comfort food and with big portions, an affordable meal for two (small eaters that is). This changed one day, when it seemed that the portion size had gone down. Though, ahem, according to the staff the portions were the same size but the plates had become bigger. (WTF, you said. Well you should have seen my friend’s face). But we kept going back again and again and again, mostly for the good stuff, however spicy pasta (yes you read it right!) snuck in to the list of orders often enough.
Cut to 2009. Location: London. Read: No Big chill hence no spicy pasta. I could have given up but I took on the challenge instead. I went on to prepare my own pasta dish. Well, not SO original since I flicked one off the internet. It was quite good, but then I have rarely been let down by recipes by experts :P.
However, it was only recently that I devised my own pasta sauce and it came out not bad, not bad at all! It ain’t spicy but it is quite yum. So I share with you Pasta a la Peru!
a) Penne: 350 grams
b) Spinach: a bunch
c) Aubergine: one
d) Garlic: as many pods as you want; chopped
e) Onion; one: finely chopped
f) Feta cheese: 100 gms
g) Butter: a knob
h) Olive oil: one tbsp
i) Fresh basil: a few leaves
j) Mixed Italian herbs
k) Salt: to taste
a) Heat oil and butter in a frying pan.
b) Add garlic and onion and sauté till they begin giving off that lovely fragrance
c) Add chopped aubergines and cook till soft. Season with salt and herbs.
d) Next crumble feta cheese into the pan and carry on cooking till the cheese melts.
e) In the meanwhile cook pasta according to packet instructions.
f) Drain and add washed and chopped spinach to the hot pasta. Mix the two together and let the spinach wilt. Once the sauce is ready, add chopped basil to it.
g) Toss it all together and if you want, you can add more cheese.
h) Dig in!
You can wash it down with some chilled white wine. There you have it: my secret to beating the blues. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
If you want more sauce, add cream after step C. Keep cooking till the sauce is reduced to half. Carry on with the rest of the steps.