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Get sauce savvy

Apart from being an absolute delight for gourmets, pasta will have theorists rubbing their hands in glee at the permutations and combinations one could arrive at by changing the sauce or the pasta. These recipes show how.

YOU CAN create different pasta preparations by combining varieties of pasta (penne, fusilli, spaghetti and macaroni) with assorted sauces.

Creamy mushroom sauce

Ingredients

Butter: 3 tbsp

Flour: 3 tbsp

Salt/pepper: to taste

Vegetable stock: 1 ˝ cup

Mushroom: 35 gm

Cream: ˝ cup

Parmesan cheese (grated): 1 tbsp

Nutmeg: a pinch

Method

Blanch the pasta and keep it half done (this is done for all preparations.) For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add flour, salt, pepper and mix well. Cook for a few minutes, then add the vegetable stock to it. When it boils, add the mushrooms. Stir continuously till the sauce thickens.

Remove from the flame and stir in the cream. Put it back on flame and stir till the sauce thickens further and is smooth.

Add the cheese and nutmeg to it. Now add the pasta and toss it. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese.

Neapolitan sauce

Ingredients

Tomato: 4

Olive oil: 2 tbsp

Onion (chopped): 1

Garlic (chopped): 4 cloves

Salt / pepper: to taste

Basil: 1 tsp

Oregano: 1 tsp

Method

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic till translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaf, basil, and oregano. Also add little water and bring it to boil.

When the tomatoes are tender, puree and strain the sauce. Blanch the pasta and then top with the sauce.

Spaghetti Florentine

Ingredients

Spaghetti: 150 gm

Flour: 20 gm

Butter: 20 gm

Milk: 250 ml

Salt and pepper: to taste

Spinach (blanched and chopped): 100 gm

Parmesan cheese: 25 gm

Onions: 50 gm

Method

In a pan, heat oil and sauté the onions till they are translucent. Add the spinach and keep on flame till spinach is cooked. Remove and keep aside.

To prepare the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Keep on flame till the flour is cooked, but make sure that the flour does not turn brown. Add the mixture to cold milk and stir.

When it is properly mixed, add the chopped spinach and adjust the seasoning. In a plate, place the spaghetti and pour the sauce and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Sauce mornay

Ingredients

Fusilli: 150 gm

Flour: 50 gm

Butter: 50 gm

Cream: 100 ml

Egg: 1

Salt and pepper: To taste

Cheese (grated): 20 gm

Milk: 500 ml

Method

Prepare the sauce as in the above recipe. Add the grated cheese and the egg and cook till the egg is done. Add milk if necessary. Then add cream and adjust the seasoning. Pour the sauce on top of macaroni. Before serving, sprinkle cheese.

O.P. KHANTWAL

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