Saturday, July 29, 2017

Kitchen save - from washed out Fusilli to a palatable Pasta Casserole!

The way we love Pizza and Pasta at home, we could very well be Italians. But then, we love our Parathas, Rajma Chawal, Kadi Rice and Dosas too. I guess we are just hearty gourmands.

Anyway, back to our Pasta fondness, we have done our usual hit and miss with several pasta brands available on Indian shelves. A couple of times we have bought the premium Rustichella d'Abruzzo, but sadly it is not easily and always available.

Then we have gone the Buitoni, Borges and Disano route. We have also tried Bambino to our utter disgust.

Finally, at our home we have centred on Barilla - not very expensive, widely available from INA Market to Modern Bazaar to the neighbourhood Dutch Hypermarket 'SPAR.'

Similarly for the jarred tomato sauce in different variations - sometimes with olives or Basil or with three cheese - we have experimented with a few brands before collectively settling on Ragu. It is OK for our pockets and great for our palate.

Yet, in an instance of stupid decision making and trying to be thrifty in the silliest of manner, we recently picked up the 'SPAR' branded packet of Fusilli and a bottle of Delmonte Tomato sauce.

To say the least, the result was disastrous. I do make rather nice Spaghetti Arrabiatta or my version of the White Penne in a rich, creamy, cheesy sauce with almonds and a shot of vodka. But more on the good things later.

This time around, I dabbled with a blend of two kinds of sauces to go with the Fusilli. My expectation was that the family would be swept off their feet but that was not to be. The pasta turned out to be yucky. 

I attempt to do one degree more than al dente at home, in order to suit the Indian palate yet retain the 'to-the-bite' firmness of the Pasta. But this packet would have none of it. The pasta simply broke away in a wishy-washy mess. And the sauce was so bad that it ruined the entire dish.

Quickly resolving to never buy SPAR pasta and Delmonte sauces I went into a fight and retrieve mode. I just had to do something to the huge batch of pasta made. I couldn't have simply thrown it away.

So here's what we did. We made a fresh batch of homemade tomato and garlic sauce. Brought in some Cheddar to help us save the day.
I then layered out the pasta in a deep dish alternating the layers with the homemade sauce and cheese till I finished my lot of pasta, finishing off with a liberal garnish of more cheese.

The ensemble was baked as a Casserole and viola! we had something to sing and dance about!!

The proof is in the pictures!!!

Have you saved a cooking disaster recently?

Picture and Casserole courtesy - Karuna Dayal

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