continental / pasta / vegetarian

Pasta Pleasures

pasta in marinara sauce

pasta in marinara sauce

When you are Hungary eat Italy … my Gran used to tell me, she then made her version of various “karma free” pasta and spaghetti that she learnt at the ISCKON centre at US when she travelled there in the 1970’s.  When the stock of pasta that she got from the states ran out, she used its country cousin, vermicelli, and with a straight face she told us, of the pasta went on diet.

Ever since the pasta and spaghetti has somehow always been a block to me. I did overcome the pizza block, and Saturday brunch has always been Pizza, each time I would look at the pasta recipe and promise myself that I would learn to cook it.

Pasta in white sauce

Pasta in white sauce

Then came the invite from Delmonte, now I have used their corn extensively, and my husband loves to snack on cheese and olives, of course the olives are Delmonte again. So the brand was kind of trusted.

What was not trust able was my own efficiency in cooking it. I am pretty reasonable, I came up with wonderful reasons as to why I could not cook it.

My excuse I am not sure if the recipe should be original “Italian Italian” or my version of original “Italian” now my original Italian recipe will be a non-italian, or rather not authentic Italian.

ingredients for pasta in Marinara sauce

ingredients for pasta in Marinara sauce

My daughters stepped in, they wrote to their friends who are into catering, contacted my husband’s Italian friend and requested his wife for an authentic recipe.  They came up with this wonderful plan

  • A third of the pasta, would Italian Italian with my husband’s friend’s wife guiding us.
  • A third would be using base Italian ingredients and loosely along Italian cooking
  • Final freak out.

I of course threatened  them that I would do “pasta poha” or “Pasta upma” with kadipatta and coriander leaves too the tee.

Lesson 1-

Delmonte Spirali Pasta in Marinara sauce

cut vegetables

cut vegetables

Here is what my daughters taught me, the first Italian-Italian courtesy my husband’s friend’s wife. “Pasta in Marinara Sauce” (gravy vs. sauce war is on by the way)


Pasta quantity 1 handful for a person.

The following proportions are for three handfuls, tittered to the taste of our family. It could vary with individual taste.


blanced tomatoes

1 each carrot, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, green capsicum, onion

4-5 tomatoes,

1 cup grated cheese

Salt and sugar to taste.

2tsp. Each of dried garlic, dried thyme/dried basil, — coarsely pounded

¼ cup sliced olives,

4-6 pods of fresh garlic pound coarsely

2 tbsp. Olive oil.

boiling the pasta

boiling the pasta


Cooking the pasta.

  • In pan place 3 handfuls of pasta, water to cover it , roughly about half an inch over the pasta, add a tsp. Of oil, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook Al-dente (soft yet firm)
  • Set aside for few minutes and drain the pasta.
boiled and strained pasta

boiled and strained pasta

Cooking the marinara sauce

  • Slice carrots, capsicum, onions to thin slices
  • Blanche tomatoes and puree it.
  • In wok, heat olive oil, sauté the onions and sliced vegetables, for a minute
  • Now add in the diced tomatoes.
  • Add the tomato puree,
    sauteing the vegetables, and tomato

    sauteing the vegetables, and tomato

    Add in salt and sugar to taste.

  • Add the coarsely ground herbs,(oregano, basil, dried garlic.)
  • Add the grated cheese and stir till it reaches a comfortable consistency to fold in the pasta.

    pouring the puree

    pouring the puree


add in the oregano


add in the cheese

ungarnished assembled pasta

ungarnished assembled pasta


Keep a side a bit of the sauce for topping. Fold the boiled pasta or rather toss them in. add the olives.

Pour the remaining sauce on top, garnish  with sliced veggies , olives and cheese.


  • For spirali paste the veggies are sliced, for penne, and spaghetti the veggies are diced into cubes.
  • The tomato puree can be substituted with spinach then corns can be added too.

Lesson 2



Delmonte Spirali Pasta in White Sauce.


3 handful pasta boiled al-dente

3-4 spring onions

2 capsicums  preferably red and yellow.

¼  cup  fresh corn—quantity can be altered to the taste of the family

2 tsps each of  dried garlic, oregano, basil.—again depending on the flavour requirement of the family

3-4 pods of fresh garlic.

2tsp. Powdered black pepper.

sauteing the garlic in olive oil

sauteing the garlic in olive oil

200 ml milk

150 Gms grated cheese

2 tbsp. Butter.

Pasta and olive oil.


  • Cook and drain the pasta as for the previous recipe.
  • Slice all the vegetables except corn and olives.
  • Sauté the vegetables in olive oil.
  • Add in half the garlic while to sauté mince the rest and keep
    sauteing the veggies

    sauteing the veggies


  • In a sauce pan melt the butter on low flame, as it melts pour in 1/3 the volume of milk.
  • Keep stirring now add in the grated cheese.
  • Now add in rest of the milk and stir,– it might be a good idea to whisk with an egg beater or use a hand blender on slow speed to ensure that the cheese melts faster.
  • As it simmers add in the salt , sugar and pepper,
  • Follow it up with the veggies and add in the spice herbs.
  • melting butter

    melting butter

    Keep stirring till the sauce thickens. When it does add in the boiled pasta.

  • Turn off and garnish with olives and corns.
in goes the milk

in goes the milk

adding in the cheese

adding in the cheese

the salt and pepper addition

the salt and pepper addition

The  herbs that flavour

The herbs that flavour

assembling the pasta

assembling the pasta


ungarnished pasta

ungarnished pasta


 This can be made with just spring onions and corn skipping the capsicum.

Alternately Basil and mushrooms can be used.

On The Table

Pasta is best served with warm, toasted garlic bread and white wine.

Day 3

We still had three handful of pasta left, I did plan to make pasta chaat but we have deferred it for a few days.  But I am pondering over Italian Idly or Idly Italiana… what say?

This blog was created for Delmonte India’s Italian Escapade, Thanks for bringing creativity into my kitchen and letting me bond with my daughters, friends and family through the hunting and crafting of the recipe.



2 thoughts on “Pasta Pleasures

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