Alright, so the thing is I l-u-r-v-e pasta with undying ardour. To think there was a time when I was most finicky and reluctant to try anything exotic or unfamiliar. And it’s not like I grew up eating pasta, if it wasn’t for my grandmom’s tricky wisdom incorporated in clever stories, I’d probably be stuck in the dal-rice/say-no-to-veggies rut.
Anyhow, the first time I tasted pasta was several years ago, when I had evolved into a somewhat inquisitive teenager, I decided to dig a bite off my brother’s plate –it was penne arrabbbita at Little Italy’s Juhu branch.
The restaurant scene was always good in Bombay, god-level good compared to the rest of the cities, but in the last one decade it just got infinitely superior. And that means if you look in the right places, you can find Italian food that tastes almost as authentic as that exquisite portion of linguine in Florence, a foodie’s paradise.
Now I love the art of eating pasta. Selecting the pasta – farfalle is my favourite. Picking a sauce that’d work best. The names… I was rather excited when we took a train trip to Pisa and all the stations between Pisa and Florence looked straight out of a Mezzo Mezzo menu.
To cut the still long story short, I made spaghetti in spinach pesto. Yes, I did away with basil. It’s so simple, you’ll love it. Because of my ailing arm, I was intent on picking a straightforward recipe without hurting my project. So all you got to do is cook the pasta according to the instructions at the back of the packet. I usually put salt and olive oil in the boiling water so that the pasta doesn’t stick to each other. On the side, grab a mixer container. Add these following ingredients, one by one, one packet of blanched spinach, one big chopped onion, one garlic clove, some lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper, 8-9 almonds (cut in half), some water and then just grind, grind, grind till you’ve got a sauce-friendly paste.
Heat some olive oil in the sauce pan; pour the contents of the blender into it. Cook till it comes to a boil and while it’s still bubbling, add generous portions of shredded cheese. Once it’s all melted and settle, bring in the pasta…mix it up. And now we’ve arrived to the easiest part of this exercise: gobble, gobble, gobble. Buon appetito! 🙂