My household was full of noodles-lovers and we used to have different variations of noodles for our different meals - but not Pasta.Either we thought of it as too extravagant - considering that you have to have at least a minimum of cheese and mushrooms to rustle up a pasta dish worth serving.Whether right or wrong,it happened to remain elusive for long.
Pic source - http://ciaotally.webs.com/justforfun.htmBut then,one day I took up the cudgels and geared myself up to cook a pasta dish - thanks to my very dear friend who was ready on her life to devour whatever I would manage to churn out provided that I give it a try!I tried a Rotini pasta recipe and it actually turned out to be good.I was so elated that I immediately blogged about it and everyone I served it to had only nice things to say!
That emboldened me - and my next step was to try out another pasta recipe.This time I took a more professional approach and whom to approach other than Nigella-the Kitchen Goddess!I type 'Nigella Pasta' and thanks to Google Instant, I had 'Nigella Pasta Recipes' on my browser.I wasted not a minute and went coursing through the recipes until I slopped on one - Nigella's pasta recipe with mushroom,garlic,thyme and parsley!
I flew off to cook my first Penne pasta dish under the keen and watchful eyes of my dear friend(yes,she was there to my rescue again!) and Nigella.I did tweak a good number of ingredients that Nigella used and even added a couple of new ones. I added brocolli florets and Romano tomatoes,Mozzarella cheese(that was there in my fridge!) and the parsley made way to fresh green cilantro.I did away with the thyme simply because I did not have it in my kitchen at that time.But the dish remained essentially Nigella-ish.And then there was no looking back!
This recipe of mine goes to the lovely event titled 'Forever Nigella ' being hosted by Sarah of Maison Cupcake.There is going to be a theme every month based on which one can either blog about one of Nigella Lawson's recipes from any of her fantastic cookbooks or else write about a recipe adapted from any of Nigella's recipes,keeping in mind that any two ingredients need to be changed.
In case one decides to stick to the original recipe,the name of the original source needs to be published and the recipe maybe published on Nigella.com which houses many of the Domestic Goddess's interesting recipes!No recipe is to be replicated verbatim from any of Nigella's published recipes.
The theme for this month is 'Seasonal Sensations' and the splendid rhapsody of fresh seasonal veggies coupled with the silky texture of Penne in butter, strewn with fried chicken struck me as the perfect recipe to suit the theme.So here goes my recipe for Crunchy Penne Rigate with Mushrooms.Enjoy,eat and let eat!
Crunchy Penne Rigate with Mushrooms
What I used:
Penne Rigate pasta - 125 gms
Brocolli - Cut thinly into florets
Garlic cloves - 4-5;sliced thinly
Romano tomatoes - 2 chopped roughly
Green chillies - deseeded and chopped
A bunch of cilantro - Finely chopped
Mushrooms - I had used Chestnut mushrooms in this dish;any other mushroom thinly sliced would be good
Boneless chicken - Diced into small chunks
Olive oil - 1 and a half tablespoons
Mozzarella cheese - Shredded
Butter - A biggish chunk
Salt to taste
How I made it:
1. Boil water in a deep-bottomed bowl and add a spoonful of salt when the water comes to a bubble.Next add in the Penne Rigate and let it cook.
2. In a separate pan, heat up the Olive oil and add the chicken pieces to the oil.Brown the chicken slightly and once cooked,remove from the oil and keep aside. Next add in the sliced garlic,chillies,brocolli and chopped Romano tomatoes to the oil.Saute a little and then season with some salt and pepper.
3. Check the pasta and see if it is cooked.Once cooked,drain all the water and add the butter to the cooked pasta.Give a good stir so that the pasta does not stick together. There should be a smooth silkiness to the whole affair!
4.Next,add the butter-smeared crunchy pasta to the sauteed vegetables in the pan and mix very well with a spatula.Add the fried chicken kept aside earlier and give another mix.
5. Generously spread the shredded Mozzarella cheese on top of the cooked pasta. The cheese will melt slowly and get slathered over the pasta.Strew freshly chopped cilantro on top.Add another dash of black pepper and check the salt.For the last touch,top with a gentle serving of olive oil all over the dish and serve hot.Crunchy Penne Rigate with Mushrooms is ready a la Nigella!