Baked Pasta

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy… the ultimate comfort food!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Stress is mounting high people. So much to do, so less time:

  • Looming college applications

  • Cursed personal statements

  • Corporate law stress

  • People problems

  • Diet fiascos

…amidst other stuff has me sleeping 8 hours straight, hoarding up on chocolate and peanuts, and procrastinating like it’s the end of the world!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

Times like these call for comfort food. And nothing can trump pasta when it comes to comfort food. Not in my house.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

Loaded with cheese and a rich sauce…this baked pasta is hearty and meaty and deliciously satisfying!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

It involves tossing pasta in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loading it up with béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topping the whole thing with loads of cheese.

Delicious, right?

I’ve made this pasta over a bazillion times now. At dinners and gatherings, whenever friends are over, or just on days like these…sad gloomy miserable days.

One pan makes about 8 servings, perfect for parties. You can prepare it ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to bake it.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

If you guys love this recipe as much as I do, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let me know. Take a picture and tag it #spatulainmypocket on Instagram. I’d love to see what you guys come up with!

 

Baked Pasta

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
Tomato-Meat Sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, heaped
1 carrot, chopped
½ kilo ground beef
1 teaspoon red chili flakes, leveled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, leveled
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup sliced mushrooms
White Sauce
2 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
The rest
1 packet of pasta, prepared according to package directions
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried Oregano

 

Directions:
1.       In a pan, heat oil. Fry the chopped onion till it changes color and becomes soft. Add in the ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown. Add in the carrot. Mix. Then add in the beef and mushrooms. Mix well on high heat for a few minutes. Then add in the; chili flakes, salt, and black pepper. Keep mixing till meat changes color. Then add in a cup of water along with tomato paste. Mix, cover, and leave to cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes.
2.      While sauce is simmering, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
3.      Add drained pasta to the meat sauce, mix and turn off heat. Put the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish and set aside.
4.      For the white sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Once melted, take the pan off the heat and add in the flour, salt, black pepper, and mustard powder. Mix well using a wooden spoon and bring back to heat. Cook for a minute before adding in the stock and milk. On low-medium heat, mix continuously till the sauce thickens. Remove off the heat and add in the cheddar cheese.
5.      Pour the entire sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and oregano on top.
6.      Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Hawaiian Pasta

Running a Ramzan recipe streak on the blog without having a pasta recipe in it? How could I! 😮

Pasta is the most eaten, loved, and yearned thing at my household. Every other aftari will see to a bowl of either spaghetti or penne.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

And if you follow me on Snapchat, then you won’t be surprised by how cray cray my family is over pasta.

This pasta is nothing like the others. As its name indicates, it’s Hawaiian! Albeit with a cheeky (cheesy) twist on it. The perfect mingle between spicy and sweet.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

And as you might have guessed, it has…pineapples in it!

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

It is SO simple. I know I say that every single time. But trust me. Just a handful of ingredients, and presto, you have an entire meal in front of you.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

 

Put your pasta on a boil, and start slicing them sausages. Make this pasta for aftari today. I know you’ll love it. 😀

Hawaiian Pasta

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
1 packet uncooked pasta
2 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3-4 chicken sausages, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt, leveled
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
1.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2.      In a large pan, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion and fry until they start to soften and become transparent. Add the garlic and the sausages, cook till golden brown.
3.      Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, sugar, salt, ground black pepper, and red chili flakes. Stir. When it comes to a boil, add in the pasta and pineapple.
4.      Stir until incorporated. Top with cheese and cover with lid. Cook until the cheese melts.
5.      Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
6.      Serve immediately.
Notes:
Adjust the salt, black pepper, and chili flakes according to your taste.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

Fettuccine Carbonara

So, how many of you can say that your summer 2016 is going according to plan?

NOT ME.

And it saddens me greatly (:().

Before the start of the holidays, I had this awesome schedule planned out; I was going to cook inventive new things, finally get a proper camera, improve my food photography skills and, most importantly, pay tons of attention to my sorely ignored blog. Remember the wonderful 3-recipes-a-week idea? I am lucky if I get to be in the kitchen for longer than the time it takes to fry pakoras.

What happened, you ask? (or maybe you don’t. I am going to tell you anyway)

Summer internship happened. A mandatory part of my college experience, it is now a thorn in my backside. (totally exaggerating, if my boss is reading by any chance! )

8 to 4 never felt so long and tiring before. An internship is hard, people! It is a strange new world. Very adult. With a lot of adults with their adult talk and adult issues. I feel like Alice in Wonderland after she is shrunken to pea size.

But at the same time, I am grateful for the experience because it is preparing for the real, adult world that I’ll be entering in an year’s time, InshaaAllah. Need to learn to handle the pressure and the people.

DSC09708-2

Coming back to food! (did you skip through my hardship defining paragraphs, hmm?)

Here is today’s feature: One of all-time favorite things to make (and eat)… Fettuccine!

It’s Italian and yummy.

And its not just any plain ole Fettuccine. I am going to make the amplified up, spicy, feisty version of it.

Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

Being a true desi, I find Alfredo bland and one dimensional in taste. Carbonara on the other hand, welcomes a plethora of intermingling tastes. It’s got the spice with the creaminess.

Cheesy Jalapeno sausages together with freshly ground black pepper and red chili flakes adds depth to the classic fettuccine. And all that extra heat from the green chili sauce and the HP sauce… yes mama!

Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

Its super simple to make, and you don’t have to use special Fettuccine pasta for this. Any type of pasta would do.

Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

.

.

You want this at your iftar table. Trust me.

Fettuccine Carbonara

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
1 pack Fettuccine noodles
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp minced garlic, heaped
3-4 chicken sausages, sliced thinly,
6 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, heaped
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic powder, leveled
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp chicken powder
1 Tbsp. HP sauce1
1 Tbsp. Green Chilli Sauce2
Fresh Coriander, for garnish
Directions:
Boil the fettuccine noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
In a pan, heat together the butter and the oil. Add in the garlic. When golden brown, add in the sliced sausages. Fry for a minute before adding in the mushrooms.
Cook till sausages get golden brown.
Remove pan from the heat, and then add in the cream and the milk. Mix. Add in all the seasonings; salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder, mustard power, and the chicken powder. Mix well.
Return back to the heat, and cook on low to medium heat till thick.
Fold in the fettuccine noodles. Add in the green chilli sauce and HP sauce. Toss well.
Sprinkle some chopped coriander on top,
Serve hot with a salad or some crusty garlic bread. Yum!
Notes:
1.       Can be substituted with a dash of soya sauce and ketchup. I do that when I’m out of HP 😉
2.       I use the local Mitchell’s one. 

 

It’s creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious. It’s Fettuccine Carbonara!

Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

You know the Buzzfeed food videos that everyone’s obsessed with? I, too, follow them religiously. They make cooking look so fun and easy! And OMG there is so much cheese involved. They triple cheese everything!

While they make my tummy rumble in ecstasy, my blood vessels are shuttering with fear of all that cholesterol.  

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

But there was this one recipe that looked surprisingly clean and simple and it involved noodles. So I decided to try it and see how it turns out in real life.

In addition, recently, I have become really obsessed with Thai flavors. I’ve been improvising many of my dishes with Thai touches; sprinkling of sesame seeds, adding in peanuts, a teaspoon of sesame oil, lemon grass…as you do.

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

Watching this Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad clip on Buzzfeed’s page, I found I had all the ingredients at home except one. The mighty Sriracha!!

So, I bought it. (of course)

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

Perfect excuse to buy Sriracha, which I’ve been meaning to since foreverrr.

(However, I have no idea where to use it next. Recommendations are welcomed, please leave them in the comment box below.) 🙂

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

Now this pasta salad. It sure lived up to its name.

A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

The perfect balance of spiciness, tanginess and saltiness.

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

The vibrant mix of fresh vegetables paired with the saltiness of the peanut butter and the soya sauce, the sweetness from the brown sugar, and the heat from the sesame oil and the acclaimed Sriracha; all worked out so well.

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make >> warm, satisfying, and so summery.

I wasn’t planning on making a post out of it. But so many of you asked me to share its recipe after I shared pictures of it on Snapchat (follow me @noora559).

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

 

Now, I obviously tweaked the original recipe according to my taste.

  • Lessened the peanut butter

  • Skipped the yellow and red bell pepper

  • Added in a squeeze of lemon juice

  • Used egg noodles instead of soba

I’d use something else instead of the egg noodles the next time, because what with all the crunchiness from the peanuts and vegetables, the egg noodles were too soft. Something with a bit more structure, a bite to it, would be better off, like the original soba in the recipe.

If you’re, in this dreaded cold, coveting summer like me, then this is the recipe to make>> Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

 

You can also add chicken to this salad, or just leave it pure vegetarian like I did.

Either way, it’s finger lickin’ good. You’ll be coming back for more :’)

Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

 Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. Sriracha
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Box noodles (any pasta will do)
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced into strips
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced into strips
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Directions:
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box. Drain and run cooked pasta under cold water to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, water, minced ginger, minced garlic, and brown sugar.

Combine pasta with sliced vegetables. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and mix well. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. Garnish with chopped coriander and peanuts.

Recipe source: Buzzfeed

Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple clean recipe, but big on flavors.

Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

Now that I’m well into college, anxiety has begun to sink its sharp little claws into my brain.

It’s only the sixth week of this semester, for crying out loud, I’m already drowning under a sea of assignments, and quizzes, mandis and project proposals..
I have constant fears that I’ve forgotten an assignment, or a reading, or left something somewhere etc. etc.

I’ve been posting a lot less too. Not that I haven’t been cooking…that I’ve been doing every day. It’s just the documenting part that gnaws at me, that I do not like doing in the least. Anyhow, I decided to update with this short post. A very easy to make pasta. Warm, comforting, saucy, with just a hint of spice. Add some rosemary. Some chili garlic sauce. Put your own spin on it. And lemme know how it turns out.

 Warm, comforting, saucy, with just a hint of spice… Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

 Warm, comforting, saucy, with just a hint of spice… Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

 Warm, comforting, saucy, with just a hint of spice… Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

 Warm, comforting, saucy, with just a hint of spice… Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

Ingredients:
1 packet of pasta, of your choice
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup sliced onion
½ cup ground beef
1 teaspoon salt, leveled *or to taste
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
½ teaspoon chili flakes, leveled
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon soya sauce
½ teaspoon vinegar
2 Tablespoon oil
1 bell pepper (aka capsicum), chopped
Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
In a pan, heat the oil. Fry the chopped onions. When golden brown, add the ground beef, mix. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. When the beef changes color, turns white from pink, add ¼ cup of water along with all the seasonings; salt, black pepper, chili flakes, garlic powder, oregano, and sugar. Mix to combine.
Now lower heat, and add the vinegar, ketchup, and soya sauce. Reduce flame, and let it simmer for a minute or two.
Then add in the chopped bell pepper. Toss well. Cook for a minute more on high flame.
Then add in the boiled pasta. Mix well.
Garnish with some chopped coriander or green onion, and serve hot.
Notes:
Adjust the chili flakes, and the black pepper according to how spicy you like it.
If you want to make the pasta more ‘saucier’, add a tad bit more ketchup. You can add in a teaspoon of tomato paste too.

Warm, comforting, saucy, with just a hint of spice… Stir-Fry Pasta with Ground Beef

CREAMY GARLIC PASTA

k

Creamy garlic pasta is the perfect pick-me-up for all those times when you’re either sad, stressed like my sister with her proff starting, or have, like me, gouged your left eye, not intentionally mind you. Its like a big bowl of warmth and sunshine.

ghjm,

Takes just minutes to prepare and just seconds to slurp away, this pasta is a new favorite around our place. I have this massive crush on James Mcavoy and Michael Fassbender, give me a ‘’like’’ if you do too ;), and have gotten down to stalk downloading their entire imdb list. And so, this summer has mostly been just me and a movie and a big bowl of this pasta. No wonder my eyes are so bloodshot…

Anyway, let’s get back to the pasta. This light, and garlicky and oh so delicious pasta is like the skinny version of the classic Alfredo. It’s not heavy at all as there is no cream in the recipe, just whole milk, which you can substitute with skim milk to make it even lighter.

 Creamy garlic pasta. This light, and garlicky and oh so delicious pasta is like the skinny version of the classic Alfredo.

This amount of sauce is perfect for me, but if you like more sauce, then by all means, go ahead and add more milk or stock to make it saucier.

cr

Make this creamy, garlicky haven, toast up some crusty French bread, and eat out in the garden with the last of summer’s bloom and bid summer goodbye.

Or you could just eat it snuggled up on the couch with your laptop to keep you company. I won’t judge. Enjoy 🙂

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon crushed garlic, heaped
1 cup sliced chicken sausages
6 sliced button mushrooms
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
½ cup water
1 packet of pasta, of your choice
Chopped green onion or coriander, for garnish
Directions:
Cook pasta according to packaged directions.
In a pan, heat the oil and the butter. Fry the onions and the sausages, on medium heat, till the onions turn translucent and the sausages start to get golden-brown.
Add in the garlic and the mushrooms. Sauté for a minute.
Add in the chicken stock, milk, salt, and the black pepper.
As soon as the mix starts boiling, add the flour mixed in the half cup of water little by little, stirring constantly.
Cook until the sauce boils and thickens.
Add the boiled pasta. Mix well.
Garnish with some coriander or green onion, and serve.

rosemary