"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Tri-coloured Macaroni - Cheesy Baked Macaroni with Spinach and Carrots - An Indian Republic Day special

I was contemplating on whether to post this recipe so late in the day and it struck me that some of the readers from across the globe could still be beginning their day. I had a very long weekend with the family as it was my munchkin Isabelle's birthday on the 25th. Actually her birthday officially is on 25th  as per UAE time as she was born in the UAE. But as per Indian time she was born on 26th so you can say she is a Republic Day baby :)

I have been awfully busy, what with the three celebrations my darling had for her 4th birthday! I am glad to see she had a wonderful time with her friends. I too made some new friends as a result.

I know Macaroni is not a very Indian trend but all the main ingredients for this recipe were 'Made in India' and it reflects the colour of our Indian flag (Saffron, White, Green) so I am truly happy that what was a coincidental make actually turned out to be right in time for our Republic Day celebrations! Of course I would have loved if I could I have incorporated the Navy Blue Chakra colour as well but I think I will leave that for next time. Doing it this time amidst the birthday rush would have been a bit too ambitious! This is what is for dinner tonight folks, so I hope you enjoy making this simple Tri-coloured (and healthy) pasta.

You need:

  • 500 gms macaroni/pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups of grated cheese of your choice (you can opt for the low fat version)
  • 4 cups of grated carrots
  • 4 cups of finely diced spinach
  • 4 cloves of grated garlic
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Pinch of dried Parsley leaves (you can use the fresh version)
  • Water to boil
  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil  (EVOO)for drizzling (optional)

The Make:
Serves 7 adults | Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1. In a large pot of boiling water, add the macaroni and some salt. Lower the flame and allow to cook over the next 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to evenly cook. Make sure the pot is sufficiently large to allow the macaroni to cook and avoid breaking or sticking together.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep-bottomed wok and saute the shallots until lightly brown.
3. Add the garlic, carrots, spinach, thyme and parsley, pepper and a pinch of salt and cover and cook on medium-low heat.
4.  Next in a Pyrex oven resistant baking dish, layer the macaroni, followed by a layer of grated cheese and the cooked veggies and then another layer of cheese and repeat.
5. Place the dish in the oven at 150°C and bake for 5-10 minutes. Leave in the oven until serving time. Drizzle some EVOO over the macaroni before serving.

Serve hot! Happy Republic Day dear citizens of India!

*Note: Non-vegetarians you can add some cooked mince to this dish with the veggies if desired. I didn't as I had vegetarian guests and also I wanted it to look similar to the colours of our Indian flag :)

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