This weekend, treat your kid to these simple and tasty pasta dishes, courtesy Chef Gautam Chaudhry, Demiurgic Hospitality, Gurugram and Rohan Kumar, Fantom-Bar & Brewery, Gurugram.
Water chestnut and Mixed Vegetable Flax Seed Lasagna
Makes: 450 g of dough, lasagne for 6-8 portions 275g – Refined flour, plus extra for dusting 80 gms- Flax seed Powder 3 large eggs 1 pinch salt
Prep:20min Extra time:30min Ready in:50min
1. Place the flour and Flax seed powder in a bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs.
3. Add the salt.
4. Gently beat the eggs and incorporate the surrounding flour, creating a runny batter.
5. With a scraper, take the remaining flour and bring towards the centre, incorporating it into the runny mixture. The scraper will prevent your hands from getting sticky and will help the dough become homogeneous. If the dough is too stiff, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
6. When the mixture forms a ball, start kneading with your hands. Flatten the ball, then stretch and fold from the top towards the centre; turn 45 degrees and repeat. Knead for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth and soft dough.
7. Shape into a ball, place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour.
8. Roll out the dough with pasta machine or with a rolling pin. If using a rolling pin… Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Take one, flatten a bit and roll with the pin 5 to 6 times. Turn the dough 45 degrees and roll again, 5 to 6 times. Keep rolling and turning in the same way, till the dough reaches a consistent 1mm thickness.
9. With a pastry wheel or a knife, cut out rectangular sheets according to the shape and size of your baking dish. Transfer to a floured cloth and air dry for about 30 minutes. If thin enough, you won’t need to blanch before baking.
10. If using a pasta machine… Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Flatten the first portion and pass through the thickest setting of the pasta machine. Dust with more flour, fold in half like a book and repeat 3 to 4 times – always flouring, folding and passing through the thickest setting – until the dough is smooth in texture, even in size and no longer sticky.
11. Move the pasta machine to a middle setting and pass each sheet through once. Move to the next to the last setting and pass through once.
12. Cut the long strip in half. Pass the first half through the very last and thinnest setting. You’ll obtain a very long and thin sheet. Place on a floured cloth. Repeat with the remaining dough to obtain 6 long sheets. Cut out the sheets to fit your baking dish. Air dry for 30 minutes, then assemble and bake. You don’t need to blanch before baking.
13. Air dry the pasta overnight, dusting with more flour if still wet. Once completely dry it will become stiff. Store in a paper bag and use within a couple of days.
Ingredients for filling:
Choice of seasonal veggies and spinach cut in 1 cm dice or shredded, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, Tomato sauce (or substitute, 2 cups prepared marinara sauce), ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil + additional for garnish 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups (16 ounces) low-fat mozzarella cheese grated, ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions to prepare filling:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. To prepare the veggies, take a large skillet and put over medium heat, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the seasonal vegetables, water chest nut and salt. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the veggies are golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.
3. Add a few large handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach and cook until all of the spinach has wilted. It will take about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, to prepare the tomato sauce, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 20 seconds and then remove skin and seeds.
5. Then, transfer the tomatoes to a food processor. Add the basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and chili flakes.
6. Pulverize the mixture for about a minute, until the tomatoes have puréed down to an easily spreadable consistency.
7. Pour the mixture into a bowl for later. Rinse out the food processor and return it to the machine.
8. Now, take a baking dish and spread the blanched Flax seed Lasagna sheet and spread it on the baking dish.
9. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce evenly over the lasagna sheet. Followed by a layer of vegetables.
10. Repeat the process twice more, followed by a closing layer of Lasagna sheet and a layer of grated cheese on top.
11. Cover the baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake it in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
12. After that, remove the cover and continue the baking process for another 10 minutes. You will see the top turning spotty brown.
13. Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 15 to 20 minutes, so it has time to set and cool down to a reasonable temperature.
14. Sprinkle additional basil over the top, then slice and serve.
Penne in Arrabiata Sauce
For cooking pasta:
150gms penne pasta, 1 litre water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon oil
Ingredients For making the arrabiata sauce:
2 large Tomatoes, 50gms Tomato puree, 2 tablespoon Olive Oil, 5gms Garlic, 1 teaspoon chopped leeks, 1 teaspoon chopped Celery, 10gms Onion, 1/2 Bayleaf, Salt – to taste, 2gms Sugar, 2 teaspoons Oregano, 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon Chilli Flakes, 1 teaspoon chopped Basil Roots/Leaves, 11/2 teaspoon parmesan cheese
Cooking the pasta:
1. Heat water with salt and bring to boil.
2. Add penne pasta in the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta in a colander and keep aside.
Making the arrabiata sauce:
1. Fine chop the tomatoes and blend them in a processor to a smooth puree.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic and onions. Saute for some seconds.
3. Add the chilli flakes followed by the tomato puree.
4. Add salt to taste and mix it all together. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for a couple of minutes till the tomatoes are not properly cooked.
5. Add some water if the sauce gets too thick.
6. Next, add the oregano, black pepper and sugar and mix very well.
7. Add the penne pasta and mix it all together till the sauces layers all the pasta.
8. Add the chopped basil roots/leaves and mix it very well.
9. Take it off the flame and serve on a pasta plate with the grated parmesan cheese on top.