Penne Swirled in a Delicious Red Sauce.


Four straight draws, two losses in a row and two draws again, I doubt if Anand can get back in the tournament. Though I really hope he does. Still trying to figure out? Well, I'm talking about the World Chess Championship 2013 Tournament that is being held in India between World Champion Viswanathan Anand and World No.1 Magnus Carlsen. A couple of times it looked as if there's no way that Magnus can draw the match, let alone win it. But I don't know how he manages to turn around the game. That's the quality of a genius I guess.

After all that unnerving and exciting experiences, and the disappointing results, I really wanted to upbeat my upset mood. What could I do? Maybe bake a chocolate dessert, but I had a couple of desserts lingering in my fridge already. So what's the next best option? PASTA! in a Basil infused delicious red sauce. Yummmm.

As I've shared in the Creamy and Cheesy Pasta post, I always prefer a tubular shaped dry pasta just for the reason that it gets filled with the sauce. When I bite the pasta, the sauce just oozes out and the flavors burst in my mouth....oh I so love it!

The pasta recipe that I've got today is my favorite. It's refreshing to the palate, light on your stomach and well, super quick and easy to make. Oh I forgot the most important part, it's absolutely tasty! The base of the sauce is tomatoes and tomato ketchup and is flavored with garlic, basil leaves and cheddar cheese. With such wonderful ingredients, how can it not taste good? I also added dry oregano for some more herb flavor. You can substitute any other herb or even mixed herbs if you want to.

The tomatoes used for this sauce are first blanched and then chopped. By blanching I mean that you just need to wash and cook them for about 3 to 4 mins in salted boiling water, by which time the tomato skin starts to peel off. Ensure that before you add them to the water, make a cross with your knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. This helps in peeling off the skin later. As soon as the tomatoes are done, refresh them immediately in cold water and peel off their skins. Chop as instructed in the recipe. So let's get on with making this yummy pasta!

Serves two.

Recipe Source: Bakingyummies

150 grams / 5 ounces dry pasta of your choice
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
6 medium size garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium size onions finely chopped
3 medium size tomatoes blanched and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon dried herb of your choice
5 to 6 fresh basil leaves
50 grams / 2 ounces cheddar cheese grated plus extra for sprinkling

For the pasta, in a large pan, bring water to a rolling boil. Add salt. Once it starts boiling again, add the dry pasta and cook stirring frequently, until al dente (when there's a slight bite left to it). Reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and keep aside. If the pasta sticks to each other, add 1 teaspoon of oil and toss the pasta.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat butter in a pan and add oil to prevent it from burning. On medium heat, sauté the garlic till it turns light golden. Add the chopped onions and cook till they are soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and the tomato ketchup and cook for two minutes. Mash the mixture a little. Adjust the seasoning. If the mixture is too thick to coat the pasta, add required amount of the reserved pasta water. Remember that the sauce will thicken as it cools.

Add the dried herb and torn basil leaves (do it by hand) and mix. Add the grated cheese and mix. Switch off the flame. Add the cooked pasta and mix. If the sauce still feels thick, you can add some more of the reserved pasta water at this stage. Sprinkle with some more grated cheddar cheese and a couple of fresh basil leaves.

Enjoy the hot and delicious Penne swirled in Red Sauce!

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