Recipe: Contrasting dishes, similar results

Two days, two distinctly flavoured dishes. One a classic Italian favourite, the other an innovative way to include a vegetable seldom used in Italian Food. The results for both were immensely satisfying so I’m going to share them both.


Spaghetti Di Pomodoro is one of the most classical and popular Italian pasta dishes. My version is aptly adds the term Grosso (which is Chunky in Italian). The seasoning is at its bare minimum so that the flavour of the tomatoes and the olive oil and the spaghetti shine through. Here’s what went into it:

A fistful of Spaghetti

4-5 medium sized tomatoes

A fistful of fresh basil leaves

1 Onion chopped finely

4-5 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil



A pinch of oregano

Grated parmigiano-reggiano (Optional)

1: Make a puree of three tomatoes. I generally prefer making a puree with the skin but that’s a personal preference. You could blanch them first, peel them and then blend into a smooth puree.

2: Chop the remaining two tomatoes into medium-sized chunks and keep aside. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and let it rest.

3: In a pan,  heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for a minute or two. Add the pureed tomatoes followed and stir. Now sprinkle the oregano, salt and freshly crushed black pepper into the sauce and mix mildly. Cover the sauce for a good 5 minutes and let it cook on medium-low flame.  Periodically check for consistency and stir.

4: In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. The tomato juice should blend with the olive oil and give it a slightly thick consistency.

5: Add the tomatoes to the Sauce and mix well. Tear some leaves of basil and add to the sauce. Remember NOT to mix the basil into the sauce. Basil doesn’t need to be ‘çooked’. Cover for a minute on low flame for the basil to infuse its flavour into the sauce. Your sauce should look like this :


6: In a large and deep vessel, boil water. Remember to add salt to the boiling water just about 30 seconds before you add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti as per the packet but remember to strain the water just about a minute before. For example, if the packet says 12 minutes, then cook it only for 10-11 minutes. That way, the pasta will remain al dente.

7: Once the spaghetti is drained, rinse it in cold water. Check the sauce for its aroma and consistency.  Add some more freshly crushed black pepper.

8: Add the spaghetti to the sauce and toss thoroughly for a couple of minutes.  Plate the Spaghetti. Garnish with fresh basil and parmegiano-reggiano. Enzoyyyyy J and do leave a note whenever you try the recipe.



 This recipe is courtesy . I’m actually a huge admirer of their recipes. We don’t really use Butternut much here in India and since it isn’t easily available (try asking your local vegetable vendor and you’ll go crazy trying to explain it to him) you can use Orange pumpkin. The dish is exquisitely flavoured with the natural sweetness of the Butternut/Pumpkin, the sharpness of the parmegiano-reggiano, the subtle flavours of herbs and delightful nuttiness of nutmeg.

I will attach the recipe link below but for the sake of consistency, I’ll add the recipe too. So here goes:

3 cups of diced raw Butternut/Orange Pumpkin

1 cup of chopped onion

1 Cup grated parmegiano-reggiano

1 teaspoon each of Sage and Thyme

4 tablespoons of butter

1 cup vegetable stock

4 cups of milk

2 cups of water

2 tablespoons palm sugar. Use regular sugar. I’ve reduced the sugar quantity as I prefer the natural sweetness of the Butternut to shine through.

1 teaspoon Nutmeg


Black pepper powder

1: Heat butter in a deep pan. Saute Onions for a minute. Add sage and thyme and sauté for another minute.

2: Add the diced Butternut/Orange Pumpkin and sauté thoroughly for a couple of minutes.

3: Cover the pan for a good 12-15 minutes for the ingredients to cook properly.

4: Remove lid and stir once. Use a masher to mash the mixture into a grainy paste.

5: Now add 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of parmegiano-reggiano. Mix thoroughly.

6: Now add the sugar, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir the mixture for a minute.

7: Add the uncooked Farfalle into the sauce making sure it is covered by the sauce.

8: Add the remaining 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of water and mix. Stir the mixture until the pasta is fully cooked.

9: Garnish with grated parmegiano-reggiano.

Note: The video doesn’t state how long you need to keep stirring the dish however, considering that the pasta is raw when you add it into the sauce, it does take at least 10 minutes. Instead of constantly stirring it, I prefer covering the pan and letting it cook on medium-low flame stirring periodically just to make sure the sauce or the pasta doesn’t stick to the pan.



Watch the video here by clicking on this link else copy and paste the link onto your browser:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s