As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pesto Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns & Oven-roasted Tomatoes

Phew! Its been a marathon blogging session today. I've been a bit slow with these posts and had them lying around in my drafts for the past couple of weeks. Therefore, today I am on a mission. To bring all you folks up to speed with all the gorgeous stuff that has been cooking in my kitchen these past few weeks!

A little while ago an item on the menu of this restaurant I eat at occasionally caught my eye. They were serving a Pesto penne with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and grilled chicken.
Vineet and I loooove fresh basil pesto, so I whipped some up and decided to make my version of Pesto pasta for dinner last Friday.
Long golden strands of Spaghetti, coated in a fresh, flavorful basil-pecan pesto, with some divine sauteed garlic prawns and roasted cherry tomatoes... just SO good!

Ingredients for Pesto: (Makes about 1 cup)
- 1 large bunch of Basil leaves, rinsed and drained and roughly torn
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup Pecans (or Walnuts), lightly toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Sunflower seeds, lightly toasted (optional)
- 1/2 cup good Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt, to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)about 1/2 cup

Ingredients for Pasta: (Serves 2)
- 2-3 handfuls of Spaghetti
- 10-12 large Prawns, de-veined (tail-on prawns just make for a better presentation!)
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- EVOO, a couple of table spoons
- 1/2 cup good Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt & Pepper, to taste.

1.)  To make the pesto, place all the ingredients except the salt and EVOO in a food processor. Pulse till the basil and other ingredients are well minced. Add the Olive oil little by little and buzz after each addition till the whole pesto comes together to a smooth (or chunky if you like it that way) consistency. Lightly season with salt. Set aside.

2.)  Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Line a baking sheet with some aluminum foil. Scatter the cherry tomatoes and drizzle with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-30 mins or till their skins are wrinkled and they are slightly charred in parts. Keep warm.

3.) While the tomatoes roast, place the prawns in a bowl. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly season with some salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic and allow the prawns in soak in all the flavours.

4.) Cook the spaghetti in a pot of boiling, lightly salted water till al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Pour the prepared pesto and gently toss to coat the pasta evenly. Cover and keep warm.

5.) Right before its time to serve, heat a non-stick pan until very hot. Lower the heat a little and add the prawns along with the oil and garlic that they have been marinating in. Saute the prawns until nice and golden on both sides.

6.)  Plate the pesto-coated Spaghetti as elegantly as you possibly can. Arrange the garlicky prawns on top and dot the pasta with the roasted cherry tomatoes. Grate some Parmesan cheese and garnish with some fresh basil.

Oh this stuff is so good! The mild yet prominent flavors of the pesto with the prawns and the charred acidity of the tomatoes.... that is magic right there! Buon appetito! :)


  1. Double thumbs up for this... :) :)

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