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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Amita Nene's Yummy Expressions: Tomato and Pasta Salad

Tomato and Pasta Salad

I love my daily dose of dal tadka and a subji so rich full of spices and aroma with warm rotis served straight from the griddle to the plate. This staple fare presents me with the satisfaction of having had a sumptuous gratifying meal.  My favourite health food writer and diet specialist totally endorses the health benefits that the staple Indian food provides - the right dose of carbs, proteins, essential fats as well as probiotics and antioxidants.
But who doesn’t love a change, especially if it is going to be healthy and yummy at the same time?! In my house, we all love trying out cuisines of the world; with a local touch of course. And I end up creating fusion versions of these global dishes when I experiment them at home, as I would tweak the ingredients either to suit the local palate or to the availability of fresh locally grown veggies.
Here is a localised fusion version of a pasta based salad… The Chicken & Tomato Pasta Salad…

To get going we need,
150g wheat pasta of your choice ( I have used Penne for my salad, but Fusilli or Farfalle works really well too)
Olive oil, as required
2 cups cut veggies of your choice (Carrot, bell peppers, black olives, mushroom, baby corn)
150g boneless chicken chunks of ½ inch size
3-4 medium sized Tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped Onion
4 tsp finely chopped Garlic
½ cup fresh Basil leaves, chopped
½ tsp dried Oregano
½ tsp red chilli flakes
2 tbsp fresh cream
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
Salt for seasoning
Black pepper powder, for seasoning
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add half of the chopped garlic and onion. Saute well and add the chopped tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and chilli flakes and keep stirring till the tomatoes are cooked thoroughly. The chunky tomato salad dressing is ready.
In 1 tbsp olive oil, stir fry the chicken chunks with salt and pepper on a low flame, do the toothpick test to check if they are cooked tender.
Cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet. Remove from heat; strain the water, run through cold water. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pasta, toss well and keep aside.
In a wok, heat 2 tbsp olive oil, add finely chopped garlic and veggies and stir fry. Add the chunky tomato dressing, tomato ketchup, the fresh cream and mix well. Add the chicken chunks, pasta, salt and pepper to taste and toss it well.  Garnish with finely chopped fresh basil.
And you would have just put together a wholesome yummy finger-lickingly delicious meal.
It’s a versatile preparation that can be served as a mid-evening meal with a generous topping of shredded cheese or heaped in a bowl for a casual relaxed dinner with a piece of garlic toast and some red wine..
So, you guys enjoy a pasta meal… and I will see you soon with more… till then a presto amicos and loads of yummy expressions!!

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