Sunday, 8 July 2012

X minutes pasta

This is my first Italian dish post and I hope you enjoy it. A very basic pasta recipe with only classic italian ingredients; it is so basic, there is not even a sauce to it. That's why it's called X minutes pasta. X to be substituted with the number of minutes it takes for your pasta to cook.

For a meal for one you will need
- two handfuls of Pasta (short-cut ones like penne, fusili, farfalle etc. not long noodle type like spaghetti, tagliatelle or fettuccine)
- three small Tomatoes or eight Cherry tomatoes.
- 8-10 large leaves of fresh Basil
- 4-5 cloves of Garlic
- 10 Pepper corns
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2" cube of the best Cheese you can get- ideally Parmesan.
- Salt

Start with the pasta. Set a pot of water to boil with a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of any neutral flavour oil like sunflower oil. When the water begins to boil, add in the pasta, give it a stir. 
While waiting for the pasta to cook, cut the tomatoes- cherry tomatoes into two each and regular tomato into eight pieces each. Garlic- remove only the outer wispy skin of the cloves, don't peel them further. Put the garlic, pepper corns and salt in a mortar- do not crush yet. Wash the basil leaves and keep ready.
Check the pasta. You want it done al dente. Al dente, as the million internet resources will tell you, means just a little underdone; with a bite to it. When done, remove from the flame, drain and keep aside. There is no sauce, so you don't have to save the starchy water.
Now you need to work fast, as the pasta will start to dry out and get sticky. Place a non-stick wok on medium flame. Crush the spices now and add to the now hot wok. Add the cubed tomatoes and tear up the basil with your hands and add them to wok as well. Give it a good stir to coat the tomatoes with the crushed spices and basil. Lower the flame to minimum, add the olive oil, stir and turn off the flame in five seconds and not more. Tumble in the drained pasta and toss to get the olive oil all over the pasta. You are done. Serve on a plate and grate the cheese at the table :)


  1. I used to make pasta normally with the regular tomato based sauce, but have recently discovered the pleasures of sauce-less pastas and am loving it! Will def try this one,,, with fresh basil... what's not to love!

    1. Oh you should try the ginger lemon grass one too. It's not so saucy. Its mostly like dressing.

  2. I just made this and gobbled it up. Such a simple and tasty meal. Love happened :P.

  3. I just made this and gobbled it up. Such a simple tasty meal. Love happened :D.

  4. you can add a bit of fine bread crumbs lightly toasted just before you toss in the pasta. regular bread will do.

  5. Where would one get decently priced parmesan in Bangalore?