Italians may balk as what we pass of as pasta, but since it is so versatile and so easy to make your own, it is one of my favourite things to cook when I don’t have much time in the kitchen.
Sausages are quite readily available in India these days. I used homemade green chilli spiced sausages sold in a grocery store nearby. You can use any brand of sausages that are available. Prasuma is an Indian brand which has pretty good spicy sausages. You can also use chorizo sausages, a type of cured Spanish sausages that are also available.
My five year old niece and her mother were visiting from Philadelphia, and I was totally unprepared for it. They finally reached my home close to midnight after a rather long journey and I hadn’t even made dinner. I whipped up an easy pasta dish clueless about what five year olds like to eat. Then she told me, that I made the best pasta EVER! Of course, for her, I had replaced the sausage with sliced smoked chicken breast (also a good choice if you don’t like spicy sausages).
You will need:
- Any type of pasta that you prefer ( I used fusilli): 400 gms. (You can use whole wheat if you like)
- Spicy pork sausages: 200 gms. Red bell pepper: 1 large
- Yellow bell pepper: 1 large
- Tomato: 1 large
- Broccoli: half a head (Only if you didn’t eat your greens for the day. If you don’t love broccoli, you can skip this)
- Light cream: 100 ml. Olive oil: 3 tablespoons
- Garlic cloves: 4
- Oregano and parsley: for seasoning (Fresh, finely chopped is best, but dried will also do just fine)
- Salt: to taste and a tablespoon to add while boiling the pasta
- Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Parmesan cheese: grated (to sprinkle on top)
Fill a large pan (of approximately 5 liters capacity) ¾ with water and bring it to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook until soft but not squishy. Al dente is the best way (when it’s just about cooked and just the centre is still slightly undercooked).
Start off by cutting the bell peppers and the tomato in approximately one cm. thick juliennes. Cut the broccoli in tiny florets. Cut the spicy sausages in thick slices and keep aside. Finely chop the garlic.
In a wok, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for about two minutes on medium heat (ensure that the garlic does not burn) until you can smell the garlic. Add the bell peppers, the tomato, the broccoli and the sausages and sauté on low heat without covering the pan for about eight to ten minutes. Add the pasta and toss everything together on medium heat, for about two minutes.
Remove from heat and add the cream to bind the pasta and the veggies together. Add salt, pepper, parsley and oregano to season and ook for another minute on low heat.
Serve hot with a (generous) sprinkle of parmesan.
- Ensure that the cream is not cold but at room temperature when you add it.
- For extra heat, add dried red chilli flakes while sautéing the garlic.
- For the health conscious, replace the cream with 4 tablespoons of reserved pasta water.
- Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil before serving.