My love for pasta goes back a long time…much before we began to have Italian eateries in Bangalore. Relatives from the USA would bring with them packets of whimsically shaped pasta that my mom would lovingly make with an Indian kick, which meant tomato ketchup & Garam masala. It was only when I spent winter days in Jersey locked in front of the television set, hooked on to The Cooking Channel/Food Network that I began learning the basics of Italian cuisine. Slowly, extra virgin olive oil, basil, lasagna sheets & spaghetti made their way from the grocery store to the kitchen. I will admit, coming from an Indian background where spices are the way of life, a dish with some oil, tomato sauce & veggies did seem a little bland but for not for long.
The simplicity of Italian cuisine results in every single ingredient shining in such a way that every bite is loaded with flavour. I learnt to appreciate a good tomato sauce or a whiff of the aromatic basil. Even a plain pasta tossed in olive oil & garlic can leave you satisfied & happy. Simple & minimal ingredients yet bold in flavour….that’s what Italian cuisine is to me.
This pasta is no different… Wholegrain penne tossed in a basil walnut pesto & some juicy cherry tomatoes. Comfort food just got a whole lot better!
The husband & me, absolutely love basil. It’s aroma takes the dish to a whole new level. Apart from pasta , I use this pesto for sandwiches & as a pizza sauce too…
|RECIPE FOR WHOLEGRAIN PENNE WITH PESTO
1-1/4 cups of Wholegrain Penne
1 cup basil + extra for garnish
1/4 cup walnuts
1 green chilli ( optional)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1-1.5 tbsp
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Grated parmesan for garnish
Salt to taste