Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Easy Sauce-less Pasta

I know that sauce-less pasta sounds very strange but if you use good quality pasta, preferable home made, then the ingredients themselves pack enough flavour when combined with the olive oil to make a delicious dish.  You can substitute the vegetables for what ever is in season or in your garden, add olives or capers or but it really needs the fresh tomatoes to add some liquid and herbs to give it punch.

For this version of my sauce-less pasta I used what I had on hand baby yellow zucchini and basil from the garden, grape tomatoes, onion, panchetta, chilli, olive oil and home made pasta.  The below recipe is not quantity specific but the amounts I mention made enough pasta for 4 serves.  If you want a vegetarian version just leave out the panchetta.

Easy Sauce-less Pasta

Fresh Pasta for 4 people
4 Slices of Panchetta (Optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Punnet of Cherry/Grape Tomatoes
1 Brown Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Red Chilli
5 Baby Yellow Zucchini
2 Handfuls of Basil Leaves (A few leaves set aside to garnish)
Salt and Pepper
Grated Parmesan

In a large dry fry pan place your panchetta slices and then heat from cold to a medium heat cooking your panchetta till it is brown and starting to turn crunchy.  Once done drain on a paper towel.
Get a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Leave any oil that had come out of the panchetta in the pan and add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and your finely diced onion.  Cook stirring often until the onion is soft.  When the onion is soft add the crushed garlic  and finely diced chilli and stir it through the onion.
Slice your zucchini into rounds and halve your cherry tomatoes and add them to the pan  and stir through and every minute or so for the next 4 minutes so that the tomatoes release some of their juice.  Do this at the same time as you get your pasta in the boiling water.
My pasta takes 6 minutes to cook from fresh and when there is 1 minute left I add the basil leaves and stir them through so they are wilted.
Before you drain your pasta take 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta waster and add it to your fry pan of veggies stirring it through.  Add a good grind of pepper and salt to taste.
Stir through your drained pasta and serve with a garnish of fresh basil and grated parmesan.

This is my favourite way to have pasta and always turns out a bit differently every time I make it as I use different ingredients (just adjust the cooking time accordingly).
Mushrooms and capsicums go really well and you can add olives and capers too. This makes a nice alternative to pasta covered in tomato sauce and this allows you to taste the pasta which is important when it is fresh and home made.

What is your favourite type of pasta and way of cooking it?

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a really nice change from the regular pasta sauces. It sounds funny but even today I love a good macaroni cheese. That and a good marinara are my favourites. Sue


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