Friday, July 6, 2012

Pasta with broccoli n cheese...

If your little monster is hungry and you want to a big smile on his or her face just take out the Italian magic wand and do a spell. Be it pasta or pizza, kids love it.  I made some mini shell pasta for my daughter. I used some Mushroom to flavor the bechamel sauce. Bechamel sauce is nothing but white sauce. And to add the vegetable quotient, added some broccoli too. This time I made a veg-version, but you can make it non-veg anytime adding chicken or shrimps to it.


  • Mini shell pasta (cooked): 2 cups
  • Button Mushrooms (finely chopped): 1 cup
  • Broccoli (cut into small florets): 1/2 cup
  • Red onion(finely chopped):1 tbsp
  • Red onion (thinly sliced): a few
  • Garlic(crushed):1 tsp
  • Olive oil: 1-2 tbsp
  • Mozzarella cheese (grated): 3-4 tbsp
  • Dried Basil:1/4 tsp
  • Dried Parsley:1/2 tsp
[Note: You can always use fresh herbs, but the quantity would be the double of the dried one, dreid herbs are much more concentrated than the fresh one. It is a good idea to keep  bottles of different dried herbs in your pantry, they come really very handy.]


Cut the broccoli florets and blanch them and keep aside.

Wash the button mushrooms well and chop them.
Cook the pasta following the directions on the pack. I used mini shell-shaped pasta.
Drain the water, keep it in a colander and drizzle some olive oil on it.

Make the bechamel/white sauce. Take a non stick pan, add butter. As the butter melts add the flour. Cook the flour in very low flame till the raw smell of flour has gone. You can see a nice color change, the flour will take a nice light yellow color. Add milk and whisk continuously. As the sauce thickens add salt and black pepper powder. Keep it aside.

Take another pan add some olive oil. When the oil is hot add crushed garlic. I always use my garlic crusher, rather than chopping the garlic, saves a lot of time. Add the finely chopped red onion and mushrooms. Cook for 5-6 min in medium high flame. Add salt, herbs, pasta and mix well. Add the sauce, broccoli and grated cheese. Remove from heat. Check the seasoning.

Transfer it into an oven proof bowl, sprinkle cheese and sliced onion on top. Put it in a pre-heated oven for 10min (or till the cheese takes a nice brown color) at 400F/200C/Gas mark 

Serve hot.