Monday, March 18, 2013

Tortiglioni with Mushrooms, Olives and Sweet corn in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Pasta is the Italians' gift to the rest of the world. Who doesn't love pasta! They come in all shapes and sizes (maybe I could work on a post about all the interesting varieties of pasta) ,from fresh egg pasta to the dry durum wheat ones to the healthier wholewheat ones. Whatever your preference Pasta is a good hearty meal and can be jazzed up with a variety of sauces and veggies. This dish is a simple combination of three vegetable which work so well together, the mushrooms give it the meatiness and heartiness, the olives add saltiness and so much flavour and the sweet corn add beautiful sweetness combined with a good tomato based sauce. This recipe works well with short pasta varieties like penne, fusili or tortiglioni as the pasta absorbs the sauce in its ridges and really gets so flavourful and delicious.

Recipe                                                                                               Print Recipe

Serves 4-6

250g Short Pasta like tortiglioni or penne

300 ml Passata (Pureed Italian tomatoes)

7-8 Garlic cloves - finely chopped

1 tbsp thyme leaves 

1/2 cup Parsley leaves - chopped

250 g Sliced Cup Mushrooms 

250 g Sliced Swiss Brown Mushrooms 

1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels - thawed

150 g Mixed Olives - cut into halves and pips removed (please use fresh olives from the deli, not the sliced ones out of a jar)

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese

3 Fresh Red chillis or 3-4 Crushed Dry Red Chillis

Cracked Black Pepper

Salt to taste 


Take a pot and fill it with 2 l of boling water from the kettle and put it on the heat. Add a generous helping of salt (2-3 tbsp) to the water. Once it starts to boil add the pasta and cook for the recommended amount of time (as it says on the packet) till its cooked al dente (cooked all the way through but still has a bite)

Tortiglioni  Pasta

Now to start working on the sauce. Slice the mushrooms, cut the olives in halves and finely chop the garlic and chillis and roughly chop the parsley.

Mushrooms and Olives

Chilli, Garlic and Parsley

Heat another pan, add the olive oil to it followed by crushed chilli and garlic. Cook till the raw garlic smell disappears and the garlic just begins to colour add the olives, mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms begin to colour. Add the thyme followed by the passata. Add the seasoning, salt and pepper and give it a good stir to combine everything. 

Now add the corn and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and give it a good mix. Check the seasoning and add salt, pepper if required.

Meanwhile drain the pasta while keeping the starchy water in which it was cooked. Add the cooked drained pasta to the sauce and add a little (2-3 tbsp) starchy water to help it stick to  the sauce. Do not add too much water as it will make the sauce too thin.
To serve place a  helping of pasta on the plate, sprinkle a generous helping of parmesan cheese and a few parsley leaves. 


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