Running the Kitchen – Day 1 (Feisty Summer Pasta)

A few weeks ago, my mother decided to take a trip outside the country, for two weeks, and leave me in charge. I don’t have any younger siblings, so “in charge” might not mean what you’re thinking. Let’s be more specific – she left me in charge of the kitchen. In almost every Pakistani household, the men are served their food, and have little or no interest/input in how it magically appears before them. And so I faced my greatest challenge to date: preparing (good) food, everyday, on time, for 15 days.Now

Now I’m not one of those girls who struggles with frying a simple egg, or making boiled rice – but in no way am I a chef extraordinaire. Still, I decided to face my task head-on, and document it for my blog 🙂

Summer Pasta

I decided to get creative in the kitchen one day, and put together a feisty summery pasta.

Ingredients:

1 lb. sausages
1 lb. pasta, cut into short strips
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp basil, dry
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp white pepper
28 oz. tomatoes, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
grated Parmesan cheese
bread crumbs
cornflour
red chilli powder

Directions:

Cook pasta as directed on package. Usually this just means adding it to boiling water, with a pinch of salt, and stirring every now and then, so it doesn’t clump together.

Take each sausage and cut it into diagonal strips, and then pretend you’re dissecting each strip, and cut a straight line right through the entire length, stopping just before it separates into two pieces.  The point in to be able to stuff something into the little sausage piece. It should look like a hot dog bun – still in one piece, but with a slit in the middle.

Heat some veggie oil in a frying pan and toss in the onions, green pepper, and mushrooms. When the onions are all nice and golden-y looking (keep them soft – not crunchy and brown), add all the spices (oregano, basil, etc.) and wait until all of this comes to a boil.

Drain the water from the pasta, which should be cooked by now, and run cold water through it (using a large pasta strainer, or something similar) so that it cools down, and doesn’t clump.

Now mix 1 tbsp red chilli powder with 2 tsp cornflour, a tiny amount of water and stir it quickly, until it becomes a goopy orange paste. Spoon this paste into the slits you made in the sausages earlier. When all your little sausage pieces are chilli-ed up, fry them in piping hot oil, until they’re a delicious reddish-brown.

Now combine everything. Sausages + onion/mushroom/spice mixture + pasta. Toss it all around into a large bowl, or in individual servings, and top with a sprinkling of basil, Parmesan, and bread crumbs, to make it look pretty.

 Bon appetit! 
P.s. what would you make if you were left in charge of the kitchen?
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