Pasta is our family favorite next to South-Indian food. We love all types of pasta though I am not a big cheese fan. I know it may sound ironical. I personally believe that pasta tastes so good and love pasta even without or very less cheese. I always make pasta with marinara or tomato-basil sauce and have never tried white sauce before. Was searching for a good white sauce recipe until I came across Prathibha's recipe in The Chef and her Kitchen. I loved her flavors with making pasta for individuals with two different tastes, which exactly is the case in our house. I also loved the substitutions she used for making it healthy using EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil) and Wheat flour. Since I was making the white sauce for the first time I decided to stick to the all-purpose flour but happily used EVOO because we cannot 'not like' it in any case. I used bell peppers for veggies though you can use any vegetables you love. I doubled the measurements since I generally make pasta for lunch and dinner together.Ingredients:
Serves - 4 to 5 people
Pasta - any variety - 4 cups (I used Macaroni)
Red bell peppers - julienned - 3/4 cup
Green bell peppers - julienned - 3/4 cup
Onions - sliced thin - 1 cup
Garlic - 8 cloves - chopped fine
Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Italian seasoning mix - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Extra Virgin Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Salt & Pepper to taste
For the white sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tbsp (you may use butter instead)
All-purpose flour - 2 tbsp (You may use wheat flour)
Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Pasta water - 1 cup or as required
Grated Parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp (I halved this amount from the original recipe, you may add upto 1/2 cup cheese here)
Italian seasoning mix - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt - to taste
Boil 6 litres of water with 2 tsps of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. When it comes to a rolling boil add the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Cook for the time specified in the pasta cooking instructions (about 8 mins for macaroni). Drain and reserve the pasta water.
In a medium sauce-pan heat olive oil and add the flour and fry in medium heat for a minute or two and add milk and whisk continuously so that it doesn't form lumps. Now add the reserved pasta water, grated cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and bring to a boil and remove from heat.
In a wide pan heat olive oil and add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft and add the red chilli flakes (I just crushed red chillis with my palms to make flakes) and italian seasoning followed by the bell peppers. Fry in high heat for a couple of minutes and reduce the heat to medium to add salt, the prepared white sauce and the cooked pasta with salt to taste. You may add the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if you need. Check for seasoning and serve hot.
Sending this as my entry to Tried & Tasted from The Chef and Her Kitchen event by Savi-Ruchi and Lakshmi.
Sending this scrumptious pasta dish to 'Only'-Pasta Pizza and Noodles event by Pari, guest hosted by Jayasri and also to Fusion-Pasta event by Ramya.