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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Roasted Peppers Pasta (with Sambar masala)

This is my second entry for the Indusladies Kid's Lunchbox event. Most kids love pasta given that it is paired with the right kind of sauce. A sweet, tangy one with a hint of chili works well with the little ones. Red peppers (especially roasted ones) have a natural sweetness to them and are a popular choice for making pasta sauce. Roasted peppers with herbs and cheese, roasted peppers with balsamic vinegar, roasted peppers with tomatoes, roasted peppers with red wine. These are just a few of the varieties that one can find over the internet. While I have tried some of them, my son's current favorite (and mine too!!) happens to be one with sambar masala. Yeah, it might sound strange but it is a real good combination. But in case you are skeptical about it, leave out the sambar masala and add some good old processed cheese in it's place.

Read on for the recipe -

Sending this as a contribution to the Indusladies event 100 Kids Lunch Box Recipes. Check out more details here - http://www.indusladies.com/food/kids-lunch-box-recipes/

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup pasta 
  • 1 big red bell pepper
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/5 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sambar masala
  • 2 tsp rice bran oil
  • salt

Preparation - Roast the pepper on a low flame till the outer skin turns black.

Keep aside till it cools down to a bearable temperature. Peel/remove the blackened skin and chop up the flesh. Discard the seeds.

Finely chop the onions and tomato and keep aside.

Cooking - Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. When the bubbles start to form, add the salt.

Once it gets to a rolling boil, add pasta. Cook till al-dente and another minute extra ( do give a stir 2-3 times in between so that the pasta does not catch at the bottom) on a medium flame. Drain the water ( while preserving 1 cup for the sauce ) and keep aside.

Add 2 tsp oil to a skillet. Add the onions. Fry till they turn translucent. Add the chili powder and coriander powder. Fry for 20-30 secs.

Add the chopped tomato to the skillet and cook till it softens up. Transfer the roasted and chopped pepper to a food processor/mixer jar. Buzz it to get a smooth paste.  Add this paste along with the sambar masala to the skillet. Cook for 2 mins.

Add the pasta. Cook for another 2-3 mins till the sauce thickens and coats the pasta. ( Add a few teaspoons more of the pasta water if the sauce feels too dry )

Serve hot or cold.

Note - While pasta is supposed to be cooked al-dente, it makes sense to make it a little softer for the younger kids who are reluctant to chew their food.

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