An ideal dish for entire family, I usually prepare this for dinner since I usually keep some aside in two small aluminium foil containers to pack for my children’s lunches the following day.
I. For the pasta
- Penne Pasta (or any other pasta of your choice) 250 gms
- Water in a big vessel almost 2 ltrs
- Salt 1 and 1/2 tsps
Boil the pasta and drain it once it’s cooked. Keep at least one glass of the water in which the pasta was cooked and throw away the rest.
II. For the white sauce
- Milk (previously boiled) 1/2 ltr
- Maida 2 tbsps
- Butter 1 tbsp
- Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg Powder 1/4 tsp
- Water in which pasta was boiled 1 glass
- Sugar 1/2 tsp
- Salt 1/2 tsp
To prepare the sauce
- Take butter in a deep pan. Put the flame on medium. Add Maida to it and use a spatula to mix it till it turns into a smooth paste. Make sure the raw smell of Maida is gone totally
- Take the pan off the flame and add milk slowly, mixing it vigorously with a hand beater to avoid lumps in the sauce.
- Put the pan back on the flame on medium and let it cook for a few minutes. Stir it continuously.
- Add sugar, salt Pepper Powder and Nutmeg Powder to it.
- If the sauce gets too thick, add the pasta water to it. We need enough sauce to coat the pasta later.
III. The Final Assembly
- Onion (sliced finely) 1 large or 2 medium
- Chopped Carrots 2 tbsps
- French Beans or Broccoli (chopped) 2 tbsps
- Black Olives (Chopped) 2-3 tbsps
- Chicken Breast (100 gms cut into thin strips) For non-vegetarians
- Oregano and Basil (1/2 tsp if dry and 1 tsp if fresh)
- Red Chilli flakes a pinch
- Sun Dried Tomatoes 1 tbsp
- Olive Oil 2 tbsps
- Parmesan Cheese – enough to cover the top of the baking dish
- Take oil in a deep saucepan. Saute the sliced onion.
- After 2 minutes, add carrots, french beans or broccoli and the chicken (For Non- Vegetarians) and saute till all the ingredients turn glossy. (You don’t have to cook it through)
- Now add the pasta, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano and Red Chilli flakes and saute again
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a baking dish.
- Pour the white sauce gently into the dish and let it trickle down to the base of the dish. Make sure that the sauce can be seen all the way to the top
- Cover the top with grated or powdered Parmesan
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Cook this for 15 minutes or until you get a crispy brown layer at the top.
- Serve hot with a sprig of fresh Basil from your garden.
IV. For the kids’ lunches
Fill 2 small Aluminium foil containers with some of the boiled pasta. In the morning, pour the white sauce, top it with Parmesan and pop it in the oven.
Wait for it to cool before you pack it for their lunch.
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