Monday, July 28, 2008
Creamy Penne with Spinach And Peas
This is one of my favorite pasta recipes and I make it very often. The sauce used is the mother of all sauces, the Bechamel. Nutmeg is a must in bechamel and blends with the milk to create an enticing base.
Uncooked Pasta - 1 Cup ( Any small variety like penne, elbows, shells)
Garlic Powder - 1 Tbsp
Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Lime Juice - From 1 Lime
For the Bechamel Sauce:
Milk - 1 Cup
Butter - 1 1/4 Tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 Tbsp
Ground Nutmeg - 1/8 tsp
Salt - As per taste
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir till smooth. Let it cook for a couple of minutes till it turns a sandy color. Do not burn it. Next add the milk and whisk to remove any lumps. Cook till the sauce thickens, and keep stirring all the while to prevent lumps. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.
Cook a cup of pasta as per the instructions on the pasta container. Drain. Saute a cup of frozen peas and 3 handfuls of spinach leaves, using a little oil. Cook till done.
Add the sauce to the drained pasta, along with the sauteed vegetables. Add 1 Tbsp garlic powder and 1/2 Tbsp black pepper. Next add the juice of 1 lime. Adjust salt according to taste. Mix well and serve.
The nutmeg in the bechamel sauce adds a very distinct flavor and binds the rest of the ingredients superbly in this simple pasta dish. This recipe goes to 'Think Spice' event initially started by Sunita of Sunita's World and being hosted by Aparna of 'My Diverse Kitchen'. Aparna has chosen Nutmeg as the star ingredient this month.