My little toddler exhibits her fondness for cheese and tang flavors and relishes them exceptionally well. Over the past few weeks, I have sworn by the arrabiata sauce recipe for most of my pastas so much that I safely hang on to it. We kind of ran over boredom with this however. I mean how much of same stuff can you eat over and over again? In a bid to experiment a little more than the usual, I played around with totally different flavors this time.
BTW, I got a pretty bottle of Balsamic Vinegar that looks nothing less than wine and tastes closely similar too. Sort of like vinegar in wine, I guess it’s that. Aged grapes were meant to be wines, weren’t they?
How much I love these BBC GoodFood magazines that I am a regular subscriber of them. As the month end draws closer, I eagerly wait for their monthly edition, couriered and hand delivered, saving me from the menacing task of hunting them down in supermarkets. The magazine is par excellence, with good write-ups, strikingly drool-worthy photographs and wide variety of tried and tested recipes to try out, I am totally convinced it will be my best bed side reading for several nights to come. For 75 odd tried and tested recipes in one book for 100 bucks a magazine, isn’t that cheap? Now that’s what I call a clean deal! All these years I was hooked to their website, now I am glad they are finally in India, I have them my hands on!
I worked with Balsamic flavors in savory for the first time, wondering really how much of body it would render to the vinaigrette, considering pasta itself is bland and void of any flavor. While I am quite confident with a tomato sauce or white sauce that’s thick enough to hold the pasta, I speculated if the pasta would go loose in this recipe. Boy! I was wrong. I’ve known what magic Balsamic does when roasted with strawberries, but to contemplate in dressings, they just make the dish exotic and top notch.
I toyed around the recipe for Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Mozzarella Sauce from the Pasta edition (March month) of the GoodFood magazine (I love owning my copy), making a few subtle changes to the original recipe. Instead of cherry tomatoes I chopped 1 plump tomato, used Balsamic instead of rice vinegar, jalapenos instead of capers, which I did not have at hand and worked with basil instead of mint it called for. Also added olives for more flavor. The outcome was fabulous with burst of fresh tongue tickling flavors from Balsamic, olives, tomatoes and herbs. The Vinaigrette itself was appetizing and delicious. Do anticipate them to be commendable in salads too.
Spaghetti with Honey Balsamic Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Inspired by BBC GoodFood Magazine
A fist full of Spaghettis
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (I used Colevita extra virgin olive oil)
1 Red onion, finely chopped
4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped to two (I used 1 plump tomato chopped instead)
4-5 pitted black olives, halved
1 jalapenos, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar (I used Colevita)
1 tsp. Honey / Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp. Fresh/Dried Basil leaves
Generous sprinkle of mozzarella cheese
Bring a large vessel of water to rolling boil along with a teaspoon of salt added. Add the pasta, taking care to handle them gently to avoid any breakage. Spaghettis have lovely noodle lengths and look pretty when swirled around and served. Boil the pasta till al dante. Drain the water completely, drizzle some olive oil over the pasta and toss gently. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, soak the chopped red onions in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Allow the onions to soak and soften for at least 5 minutes. Then add in the olives, jalapenos and chopped tomatoes. Season liberally with fresh/dried herbs (basil or mint) to taste.
Toss this vinaigrette to the cooked pasta. Throw in some mozzarella and toss well gently. To serve, swirl the pasta around the fork and using a second fork transfer it to the serving plate gently so that it holds up nicely. Scatter over the veggies and dressing and serve with fresh gratings of mozzarella cheese.
I don’t actually arm myself in measuring out and following a recipe to the tee where no baking is involved. It doesn’t matter much when you vary ingredients and mess around here and there, it actually brings out your signature taste. Unlike while baking desserts, for savory and spiced dishes I think it’s best to believe in your intuition rather than exactness of the recipe. If you still think exact measurements matter, you can find the recipe here. To make a vegan dish, substitute honey with sugar and skip mozzarella all together.
If sun shines high and you’re looking for a light summer dish that screams for some flavoursome summer time meal, you have to try this. Call it a salad, a main course or just a one pot dish, it’s fresh, light and refreshing with a summery feel.