Monday, 12 May 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Spaghetti in Indian Basil Pesto



I was first introduced to pasta a few years back when my mentors took me and my friend out for a lunch on our last day of internship to Jugheads, Mumbai. It was love at first bite. For a while I associated pasta with tomato sauce, broccoli and zucchini. Later however, as I became acquainted with pasta variations, I started experimenting on my own. One great thing about pasta is that it can adapted effortlessly to various combinations and delightful flavors. This spaghetti recipe in this post is one such adaptation with Indian basil pesto.


Roasted Cauliflower Spaghetti in Indian Basil Pesto

Pesto is traditionally made with basil. In this pesto recipe I decided to make use of Indian basil. Indian basil has a stronger flavor than Italian basil, tastes great nevertheless. 


Indian Basil


For a few weeks I had been lusting after these homemade sun dried cherry tomatoes and decided to use them as base for my pesto. I used a local variety of cherry tomatoes, which are much smaller than the regular cherry tomatoes and herbed them with dried oregano and basil.


Sun Dried Tomatoes


Now, these tomatoes were totally dried, so I soaked them in olive oil for about 6 hours. You can use the canned sun dried tomatoes. I added a dried red chilly and soaked it with the tomatoes.



Ingredients:

Spaghetti- 250 gm
Cauliflower florets-300 gm
Clove- 3-4 nos
Olive oil- 3 tbsp
Salt and pepper for seasoning

For pesto
Sun dried tomatoes- 1/2 cup
Basil leaves- 1 cup, loosely packed
Cloves- 2
Dried red chilly- 1
Olive oil- 3 tbsp
Salt for seasoning

Let's begin by making our pesto.

Assemble all ingredients for pesto. As I mentioned I had soaked my sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, I drained them before using them.


Place all ingredients except salt in your food processor and grind to a paste. I ground it a bit coarse but you can make it a smooth paste. Season with salt and your pesto is ready.


Pesto

Now that our pesto is ready, let's get on with spaghetti.

Bring water to boil in a wok and cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain, and drizzle with some olive oil to keep spaghetti from sticking to each other and keep aside.

Heat olive oil in a pan till it's very hot but not smoking.

Add cauliflower florets and cook on high flame till they start to brown. About 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring at 20 second intervals while cooking so they don't burn. Cover and cook on low flame for another 5 minutes.




Add pesto and mix.

Toss spaghetti in and gently mix. 

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and keep on low flame for a couple of minutes so it gets nice and warm. 

I topped mine with a handful of basil leaves and a few sun dried tomatoes.

Roasted Cauliflower Spaghetti in Indian Basil Pesto