When it comes to cuisines, I love Italian a lot and love to cook some Italian dishes at home. I love experimenting with different ingredients to make pastas and salads. Here is my recipe for creamy Pesto pasta with vegetables, which is not only quick to make but also tastes quite delicious.
Take 200 grams of raw pasta of any shape, I prefer Penne or Fusilli and cook it al dente as per the instructions given on the packet.
While the pasta is cooking, you can wash and chop different types of vegetables such as
200 gms Broccoli, 1 Red Bell pepper, 1 Yellow Bell pepper, 10-12 mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, baby corn and keep them aside.
Take a frying pan and put some olive oil in it and after it hot reduce the heat and add 2 crushed garlic pods (this is optional). Usually the Pesto sauce has garlic in it so you skip the garlic if you don't like too much. I add it cause I like strong garlicky flavour to my pasta.
To the oil you add all these vegetables and stir fry them on a high flame. If you wish you could par boil broccoli and baby corn before you add it to the oil as they take a little longer to cook.
In the mean time the pasta would have cooked, drain in a colander and immediately wash it with cold water to stop it from cooking and keep it aside.
Don't overcook the vegetables as they go limp and lose all their flavour To the frying pan that has the vegetables, you add the following ingredients cream (could be home made or of any brand you like), Basil Pesto (I use the one from Green Tokri, which is available in Pune and is very reasonably priced), Italian mixed herbs, Black pepper and salt.
Stir this mixture together. The Pesto you can add as per your liking. You can even add fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese, if you have any. Stir everything together and let it cook for a minute or two. You can add a bit of milk if you like to make the sauce thinner.
If you plan to eat the pasta right away, add the pasta to the sauce and stir it well. If you plan to eat it after a while, then heat the sauce and then mix the sauce and the pasta together just before you eat, else the pasta will soak up all the sauce.
Serve this in a rustic dish topped with fresh basil leaves and Paremsan cheese, with warm garlic bread, salad and a glass of wine or fruit juice and you will have people licking the plate clean.