I found these mini macaroni pasta the other day on the supermarket aisle. Small (mini) pasta varieties are generally included in soups or broths in Mediterranean cuisine, since they give some body to the dish, probably because of all the starch they contain. But I still decided to make pasta, a rather thick and aromatic one with this. I was out of those general woody herbs, except mint and parsley. These were the only herbs that went it. So, a nice aromatic, spicy, Arrabiata pasta was in store for Sunday lunch.
I remember the days I was new to pasta cooking, some 9 yrs back. Now I not only cook pasta, but I sometimes even make it from scratch at home.
- 250gm any mini pasta
- 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 150 gm of cauliflower, florets
- A handful or so of green peas (frozen)
- 1-2 tbspn tomato puree
- 1 tbspn balsamic vinegar
- A bunch of fresh mint and parsley leaves finely chopped + a few extra for top it off later
- Extra virgin olive oil
– Set water to boiling and add your pasta as soon the water comes to a boil. And season the water with salt
– Meanwhile cook your arrabiata sauce. Heat a heavy bottom dish and add in a tbspn of olive oil. Add in the garlic cloves and let it cook for about 20 sec.
– Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they release their juices. Mash with your spoon to release more juices and make the mixture into almost a paste.
– Add in the tomato puree and cook for around 2 more minutes. Add in the cauliflower florets and cook for 7 min, till the florets are nicely done and fork tender. Add the green peas and cook without the lid for another 2 min. At this stage add the balsamic vinegar. This is necessary to give a smoky and pungent flavor to the pasta
– Throughout the cooking of the sauce, keep adding the pasta water to emulsify the sauce and also to give it some texture and body.
– Season the sauce with salt. Add the pasta to the sauce and combine everything. Take everything off the heat. Stir in the chopped mint and parsley.