Pasta Prize

I don’t know how accurate any of these exotic stories are or where the origins of pasta really come from but my introduction to pasta I’m sad to report was not like the explorer Marco Polo, who was introduced to pasta during his travels to China, and brought it back with him to Italy in 1292.  Or through the ancient Greeks who ate a version of lasagne or during the Middle Ages when pasta was eaten by Arabs who ruled Sicily.
My introduction to pasta was through an unassuming vegetarian fast food joint when I was in school! It’s not that I have anything against such joints but it’s just that it is one of the last places to eat pasta, forget it being the first.
However I’m happy to report my taste buds have come a long way since. Italians have come to be associated and are known for their love of pasta and it is one of the most popular dishes around the world and it’s most certainly a hot favourite at our house. When I’m too lazy to  go out and need a quick Italian fix, my favourite chef really steps up to the plate and doesn’t disappoint.

Fusilli With Sausages Bacon Bits Baby Corn And Mushrooms

Ingredients
For the pasta
500g fusilli pasta

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Bunch of fresh basil, mint and curry leaves finely chopped up( optional, if you cant get it just the regular mixed herbs will do )
Tablespoon of dried mixed herbs
Chilli flakes
Sea Salt ( if you dont have it regular salt will do)

Pepper

2- 3 tablespoons of any commercially available tomato sauce
For the toppings

500 g sausages chopped up
200g chopped mushrooms
200g baby corn halved and sliced thin lengthwise.
Fried bacon bits
1 large onion finely chopped
4-6 finely chopped cloves of garlic

2 Tsps of chilli sauce

Table spoon of butter
Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Method
Heat the butter in a non stick pan. Add the chopped onions and garlic to it. After cooking for 2 mins add the baby corn, bacon bits and sausages and cook till the onions are translucent.

Add 2 tsps of chilli sauce and mix it. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes. Cover the pan keeps it aside.

Add 2-3 tsp of sea salt and a tblsp of cooking oil to 3- 4 litres of water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and boil until done.( as per instructions on the packet )

Keep a cup full of the pasta water aside and drain the rest of the water. Empty the pasta in a serving dish or shallow glass bowl.

Add the herbs, chilli flakes, salt and pepper to the pasta and mix well. Sprinkle the freshly chopped herbs and then add the tomato sauce and grated cheese and mix well. Drizzle a little olive oil on top for flavour.

Add the pasta water to the pan with all the toppings in it and simmer till the topping is hot.

Season with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.

We like to mix the toppings into the pasta and serve it, however you can serve it seperately if you wish. Also you can add some more grated cheese as a garnish at the end if you want to.

Onion and garlic cooking

Mushroom baby corn bacon bits and sausage added along with the chilli sauce
Topping being cooked.

Pasta with herbs and chilli flakes

Grated cheese and tomato sauce added to the pasta

Toppings being cooked again with the pasta water
The toppings and pasta mixed together

Pasta ready to be eaten