Weekends with pasta

Published Sep 6, 2021, 12:10 am IST
Updated Sep 6, 2021, 12:10 am IST
Love classic italian pasta with a creamy sauce? then try it with an Indian touch — recipes making everyday pasta exotic!
Cinnamon infused creamy pumpkin marinara with whole wheat pasta
 Cinnamon infused creamy pumpkin marinara with whole wheat pasta

Simple, classic pasta recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. With so many different shapes and sizes of pastas at the market today, making a good plate of pasta has become even more accessible than ever before.
We have Chef Varun MB from Novotel Hyderabad Airport, sharing some easy pasta recipes with an Indian twist for a great weekend dinner with friends and family.




* Spaghetti Pasta (raw): 80 gm

* Almonds: 50 gm

* Ajwain leaves: 50 gm

* Parmesan cheese: 25 gm

* Garlic cloves: 4 nos.

* Virgin olive oil: 100 ml

* Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

1. Add all the raw ingredients in a blender to make a coarse pesto sauce. Set aside in a bowl.

Method to make the pasta (for 1 person):

1. Boil 500 ml water with salt in a pot.

2. Add raw pasta into the boiling, salted water, and cook it until it is al dente. Set aside once done.

3. Into a mixing bowl, add pesto and the boiled pasta in the bowl. Now, mix it with a spatula to coat with pasta, check and adjust the seasoning, as required. And serve hot with bread rolls or garlic bread.




* Pumpkin yellow (peeled and diced): 50 gm

* Cinnamon powder: 10 gm

* Garlic (chopped): 5 gm

* Onion (small, diced): 15 gm

* Parmesan cheese (grated): 10 gm

* Parsley sprigs (for garnish): 2 sprigs

* Balsamic vinegar reduction for garnish (optional): 5 ml

* Butter: 15 gm

* Olive oil: 30 ml

* Black pepper (ground): 10 gm

* Chili flakes (for garnish): a few

* Pasta (macaroni): 80 gm

Method of preparation:

1. Heat a saucepan on slow flame, and add butter to it.


2. To the above, add pumpkin and sauté on slow flame until the pumpkin leaves the raw flavour.

3. Now, add water to it add some salt and cook until the pumpkin is soft.

4. Cool the pumpkin and make fine puree by adding some butter and salt pepper. Set it aside in bowl.

5. In another stockpot, boil water with a little salt and oil. Once the water reaches boiling point, add pasta to it and cook it for 8–12 minutes.

6. Heat another saucepan on medium heat, ensuring that the oil is not overheating.

7. To the above, add olive oil and chopped garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Over this, add diced onion and sauté it for 2 minutes. Then, add the pumpkin puree to it as also the seasoning. Cook it for some time.


8. To the above, add pasta to the pan and stir well to mix.

9. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with chili flakes and parsley, and serve with garlic bread or bread rolls.



For the meatballs:

* Lamb mince: 100 gm

* Egg whole: 1 no.

* Chopped onion: 20 gm

* Garlic: 20 gm

* Carrot (chopped): 10 gm

* Flour: 5 gm

* Rosemary (chopped): 5 gm

* Black pepper: 5 gm

* Olive oil: 15 ml

* Sal to taste

* Refined oil for frying: 500 ml

Method of preparation:


1. Heat oil in a pan on slow flame.

2. To this, add chopped garlic and onion, and sauté for a while.

3. To the above, add carrot and cook until the raw flavour of the vegetable leaves. Cool down this mixture.

4. In a bowl, add minced lamb meat, egg (for binding), and some flour; to this, add the cooked mixture.

5. Mix the above well and make small dumplings of meat.

6. Refrigerate them to bind well.

For the sauce

* Pasta: 60 gm

* Tomato Concasse: 150 ml

* Basil leaves: a few leaves

* Olive oil: 15 ml

* Rosemary chopped for garnish


* Parmesan cheese grated for garnish

Method of preparation:

1. Heat a pan on low flame and to it, add olive oil.

2. To this, add the tomato sauce to cook, and add basil leaves and rosemary.

3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan.

4. Fry the lamb dumplings until it is cooked for 8 to 10 minutes on a slow flame. Once the dumplings are well done, remove them from the fryer and add them to the sauce.

5. In another stockpot, boil water with a little salt and oil. Once the water comes to a boiling point, add pasta to it and cook it for 8–12 minutes.


6. Strain the pasta.

7. Transfer it to a serving bowl and pour the meatballs with the sauce on top of the pasta.

8. Garnish the above with basil leaves, parmesan cheese and chopped rosemary.



For the pesto sauce

* Walnut: 50 gm

* Sundried tomato: 100 gm

* Olive oil: 50 ml

* Pepper whole: 10 gm

* Garlic cloves: 5 gm

* Parmesan cheese: 20 gm

* Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

1. Add all above ingredients to the blender, make coarse pesto sauce, and keep aside.


For the pasta

* Pasta penne: 80 gm

* Olive black: 6 nos.

* Walnut (whole): a few for garnish

Method of preparation:

1. In a stockpot, boil water with a little salt and oil; once the water starts to boil, add the pasta to it and cook for 8–12 minutes.

2. Strain the pasta.

3. Add the pesto to the warm pasta, and transfer to a serving bowl.

4. Garnish with olives and walnut and parmesan cheese and serve hot along with garlic bread or bread rolls.



* Pasta: 60 gm


* Olive black: 6 nos.

* Olives green: 6 nos.

* Tri pepper roasted: 60 gm

* Olive oil for dressing: 30 ml

* Salt to taste

* Parsley for garnish

For the dressing:

* Dijon mustard: 5 gm

* Olive oil: 60 ml

* Balsamic vinegar: 45 ml

* Oregano: 5 gm

* Black pepper: 2 gm

* Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

1. Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl, emulsifying them to make dressing; keep aside.

2. Boil water in a stockpot with a little salt and oil. Once the water starts boiling, add pasta and cook it for 8–12 minutes.


3. Strain it and cool it down in the refrigerator.

4. Cut the roasted pepper in desired shapes.

5. Add pasta to a bowl, with the tri-peppers, olives, chopped parsley.

6. Add to the above the dressing and toss it.

7. Now, transfer it all into a serving bowl.

8. Serve cold.

Best pairings:

1.      Long and skinny pasta shapes, such as spaghetti, linguine, fusilli lunghi, and vermicelli go well with light seafood sauces, cream- or oil-based sauces.

2.      Long ribbon pasta shapes, such as tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine, and mafaldine go well with rich, meaty sauces.


3.      Shell pasta shapes, such as conchiglie and lumache go well with heavy cream or meat sauces; large ones can even be stuffed.

4.      Twisted pasta shapes, such as fusilli, trofie, strozzapreti, caserecce and gemelli go well with lighter, smoother sauces, which will cling to the twists, such as pesto.

5.      Tube pasta shapes, such as penne, rigatoni, macaroni and paccheri go well with hearty vegetable sauces, or baked cheese dishes. They are also good with Bolognese or ragu.


6.      Mini shapes, such as orzo, fregola, canestrini and stelline go well in soups and stews or as pasta salads.

7.      Filled pasta, such as ravioli, tortellini and cappelletti are traditionally served with a light butter or oil sauce.

Tips and tricks

·         Always cook pasta in a very large pan of salted, boiling water. If you don’t give the pasta enough space to move in the pan, it will stick together.

·         There is no need to add oil to your pasta when cooking. It won’t prevent it from sticking together, and will just end up down the drain.


·         Don’t cook the pasta all the way through in the water. Instead, drain it when it still has a little bite, it enables the pasta to absorb more of the sauces.