Traffic Light Pasta

October 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Even though the British weather has been absolutely glorious for the past few days, I’ve been feeling a bit down and stuck in a rut, and craved a bowl of comfort!

A stir-fry, some type of curry or a casserole – I wasn’t so sure on what to make. All I knew was that I wanted something comforting, hearty and quick. So with a heavy head I decided to raid the kitchen and ended up making the following Traffic Light Pasta – the name is basically due to the red, yellow and green colours of the dish.

What you will need:

400 – 500g of Penne pasta

Olive oil

Around 7 Spring onions

2 Fresh green chilli’s

2 Large clove’s of garlic

2 Tin’s of chopped tomatoes

6 Sticks of asparagus

1 Green bell pepper

A handful of green garden peas

A handful of sweetcorn

2 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper

2 1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of red chilli powder

A pinch of garam masala

2 tsp of thyme

What to do:

Begin by chopping the spring onions, fresh green chilli and garlic. Once chopped add to the pan with some olive oil, and begin to saute on a low heat.

Once the spring onions, fresh green chilli and garlic, begin to soften add the chopped tomatoes and stir. After around 2 minutes add the freshly cracked black pepper, salt, red chilli powder, thyme and pinch of garam masala. Cook this base on a high heat for around 3 minutes, stirring in between, and then reduce to a low heat and cook for a further 7 minutes.

Whilst the base of the sauce simmers away, dice the green bell pepper and asparagus and add to the sauce, along with the garden peas and sweetcorn. Continue to simmer on a low heat.

Boil the pasta and once the vegetables become tender, add two tbsp of the pasta water (this will thicken the sauce), followed by the boiled penne to the sauce. Stir and cook for a further 3 minutes.

And serve!

*Some people with lighter taste buds may find the above seasoning too hot. If this is the case, simply add only 1 fresh green chilli – it will make a difference!

*Before anyone points it out, yes my green bell pepper is on the soft side, but I do feel that this dish is great if you have any vegetables going over to the dark side, and you need to use them up quickly.

*Yes, that is a whole massive bag of fresh green chilli’s up there – they are a staple in most Indian households, and as you can see often get added to things like ermm pasta.

*Spring onions really do make a pasta dish taste differently, compared to say the standard onion.

*I quite like how the dish has colour, but you could easily mix it up a bit more by adding yellow bell pepper’s.

*If you’re not a fan of chilli I guess you could replace the seasoning with a more authentic Italian mix, such as fresh basil and oregano

*Whenever the sauce is simmering away, always cover the pan with its lid!…otherwise you end up with hot tomato pasta sauce spitting up at you….

*I normally love to sprinkle cheese upon serving, but I couldn’t think of a cheese which complements all the green vegetables – especially the asparagus. So if you do attempt my recipe, do let me know what you think!



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