Let’s chat, shall we!? Time to end the lazy slump I’ve been rolling in lately. A lot’s been going on around here and I’m up for a full disclosure now. I did slip the news on Instagram couple of weeks ago but didn’t announce officially on the blog. So here it goes!! Drum-rolls please!!! I am going to LONDON this FALL for a one year postgraduate programme!!!!! WOHOOOO!!!!!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!! Sorry for all the yelling but I’m SOOOOO excited for this new chapter of my life to begin. This year has been truly magical so far!
I got the confirmed offer on my admission about a couple months ago but was skeptical on sharing the news as there were so many things to consider and plan for before I decide to accept the offer. Let’s just say I didn’t want to jinx it! I was ecstatic (to say the least) to get into this prestigious college. I was (still am!) over the MOON would be an understatement. I leave in September and there is so much to do. I need to visit my parents, apply for Visa, do the shopping, pack my bags and off I go. Fingers crossed for a smooth sailing!
Now here is a bit of not-so-good-news. Umm… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue blogging along with my studies but I’m not going to incessantly worry over something I can’t control. As of now, the only thing I’m sure of is that the programme is going to be very intense and I am going to have to give my 101% attention to it, even if blogging takes a backseat. I AM absolutely ready to prioritize. I love blogging so much therefore I’ll be blogging here as much as I can until September and after that we’ll see how things go. I would love to pop over in between during my stay in London to share my experiences in new country, food related or not. I will definitely try to stay as active as possible on Instagram nonetheless so do follow me there to stay in touch and be my companion on #LondonDiaries! 🙂
This recipe I am sharing today is bonkers awesome! It is the quickest meal I have ever made (apart from toss-in-all-you-have salads or couscous!). If you can boil the pasta then you can make this recipe. This one here is basically foolproof! The tomato paste (Brand name – Splitz) I used for this quick pasta sauce is made locally in Bangalore and the ingredients list reads – Tomatoes. That’s it! It does not have any funky ingredients I can’t understand or pronounce, just pure tomato goodness without any color or preservative or salt! Too good to be true and but sadly, it is mostly available only in Bangalore. But fret not. You can go ahead and try any other good, organic tomato paste you can find in the store near you.
This packet is definitely going with me everywhere I travel. I guess it’d be a blessing during my soon-to-start student life! What a cheap, no-fuss and delicious meal option with so many possibilities. Add any number of vegetables to this dish to make it more hearty and fulfilling. Just a heaping Tablespoon of this potent tomato paste is enough for one portion. You can tell I’m quite impressed! What can I say, sometimes simple is truly THE BEST! xx
Quickest Tomato Pasta Sauce ~ Dinner for Two
Yields: 2 generous servings | Prep time: 2 minutes |Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups macaroni pasta
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved after boiling
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Scant 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp dry basil herb
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- Shavings of Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta as per the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- In the meantime, heat the pan on a medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onion and sauté for a minute. Add tomato paste and salt and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, scraping and stirring occasionally. The tomato paste will turn brown and this will enhance the flavors. Mix in basil and pepper and cook for another minute.
- Stir in 3/4 cup of reserved pasta water to the tomato paste and magically you’ll get your pasta sauce ready! If you want thinner consistency sauce, add remaining 1/4 cup pasta water too. Stir in the drained pasta. Divide between 2 serving dishes. Top with some shavings of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.
*You can add vegetables of your choice to make the meal more hearty. Just sauté the vegetables along with garlic and onion before adding tomato paste to the mix. Zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, bell peppers…. sky is the limit!
*You may also top the pasta with capers or olives.
*Use whole wheat or quinoa pasta to make this meal healthier.
*Use penne or spaghetti pasta instead of macaroni.
This peanut butter-flavored dish is a cinch to throw together. So convenient on a weeknight or when you’re just lazy. Just boil a pot of water, saute some vegetables and whisk together some sauces from your pantry. Dinner is served!
Vegetable Whole-wheat Noodle Bowl
Serves:2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total: 25 minutes
For noodle bowl:
- 2 nests of whole wheat noodles
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch thin strips
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch of scallions (spring onions), finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp lightly toasted white sesame seeds*, for topping
*You may use toasted peanuts too instead.
- 3 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- big pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp of hot water (or a little more to achieve a thin yogurt-like consistency of sauce)
- Boil a medium sized pot of water. Add the whole wheat noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add oil and sauté garlic for about 30 seconds. Add red pepper and broccoli to the pan and sauté for another 5 minutes over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for sauce, adding the hot water in increments at the end. You are going for a thin yogurt-like consistency.
- Once the noodles are cooked and drained, toss together the noodles, sautéd vegetables and scallions.
- Portion into small bowls and top with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve immediately.