3 days ago, when I got a mail from BBC GoodFood India inviting me to be a part of their celebration of the GoodFood day, I was mildly surprised! BBC GoodFood is launching its first international food magazine today. And to coincide with the launch, they are celebrating today as the GoodFood day. ☺ I'm a frequent visitor of the BBC website. I love their health tips, Competitions, recipes etc. This was a dream chance I was getting & I wasn't about to throw it away because of my "busy schedule".
All they asked me to do was to don my thinking cap & come up with a dish I've never tried before & host a party for my dear ones. And that is exactly what I did. However, I did have 2 problems:
> No time during the day (or even night!) to make this.
> No oven to bake the Au Gratin
So what did I do? I made the dish after everyone went to sleep. Literally after midnight! (yes Swati, I took inspiration from you!) And then, I woke up my brother & we had a blast eating it! It was one helluva party! ;-) And no matter how hazardous it is to eat stuff (especially such high-calorie ones) at night, there is always the thrill of doing the forbidden!! :P Plus, I really am planning to workout. :-D :-D
I made the Pesto sauce in the morning before leaving for work. (My mom thinks I'm going crazy! She thinks I'm a cookaholic! :D) This dish has a few steps to follow. But trust me, it really is very simple! Since I made it in the Microwave, it takes just about 8-10 minutes to cook. :) [I am rapidly forgetting my old oven & falling in love with the microwave!]
Pasta shells - 300 grams - 2 cups (I used different shapes)
Onion - 1 medium - chopped (optional)
Mixed vegetables - 1 cup (optional)
Olive Oil - 1 teaspoon (or any other oil)
Parmesan/ Cheddar/ Mozzarella Cheese*
Salt - to taste
Chili Flakes & Oregano
* I haven't given any measurements for these because you can use as much as you want!
I. Make the Pesto Sauce (or buy)
II. Make the White Sauce (or buy)
III. Make the Tomato Sauce (or buy)
IV. Make the Pasta
V. Prepare the Au Gratin dish.
V. Microwave away~~~
I. Make the Pesto Sauce - Check ✔
II. Make the White Sauce - Check ✔
III. Make the Tomato Sauce - Check ✔
IV. Make the Pasta -
1. Heat water in a pan with generous amounts of salt.
2. Put the pasta in the hot water & let it boil for about 1 minute.
(don't cook completely since you are gonna keep in microwave too)
3. Filter the water & transfer the pasta to cool water.
4. Heat oil in a pan.
5. Add onions & veggies & stir fry for about 2 minutes.
6. Add salt per taste.
7. Add the Pasta & mix well.
8. Separate the Pasta into to bowls. In one, mix it with Pesto Sauce
9. In other, mix with tomato sauce / Pizza sauce (I used ketchup)
V. Preare the Au Gratin dish -
1. Take a microwave safe bowl/dish. Add some Pesto Pasta to the dish.
2. Then, drizzle white sauce all over it.
3. Add grated cheese.
4. Next put some Red (tomato sauce) Pasta on top of it.
5. White Sauce & then cheese.
6. Repeat until the dish is filled / Pasta is over.
7. Skip if you want: Add lots of cheese all over the dish. (of course, you can be health-conscious & add just a spoon-full! :P
8. Sprinkle some Oregano & Chili Flakes on top.
VI. Microwave Away -
My Microwave doesn't have any temperatures or anything. A simple heat or grill option. So what I did was -
1. Cover the dish with a plastic wrap or lid
2. Heat (for cheese to melt) for 2 minutes.
3. Grill for 5 minutes.
Your Cheesy Pasta Au Gratin is READY! :-)
Happy GoodFood Day everyone!
Will be announcing an event shortly. Stay tuned. ☺