Penne in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Minced Meat

After having enjoyed aplenty of locally grown sweet red peppers in various forms, I had made a batch of roasted red pepper sauce and froze it to use later early this year. Yesterday, I had the urge to make pasta for dinner for everyone. So I combined the sauce with minced meat, few herbs and spices and some penne pasta, and the meal was so yummy.

Vibrant red color from the silky roasted red pepper sauce along with the delicious meaty flavor, this pasta meal was satisfying and loved by everyone. I will definitely be making this again and again.

Penne in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Minced Meat and Cilantro

Ingredients:

Penne pasta – 750 gms
Roasted Red Pepper sauce (see below for instructions on how to prepare) – 350 ml
Minced Lamb/Veal meat – 650 gms
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Beef stock – 3 cups
Chopped cilantro – 4 tbsp
Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Method:

1. Prepare Roasted red pepper sauce, see below for instructions.
2. In a saucepan, heat oil and as soon as it warms up, add ginger garlic paste and fry until it is lightly brown. Add the minced meat, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and stir well to mix. Cook stirring frequently and breaking lumps until there is little or no moisture left and the meat is well cooked. Add the roasted red pepper sauce, beef broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook according to instructions. Drian and add the cooked penne to the cooking sauce of red pepper and minced meat. Add chopped cilantro, mix well and cook until there is just little sauce left. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes for the pasta to absorb flavors. Serve immediately garnished with grated cheddar cheese.

For Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
On a rimmed baking tray, arrange 6 halved and cleaned red bell peppers (or) long sweet peppers(red shepherd peppers). Brush them lightly with oil. Sprinkle salt, black pepper powder and dried herbs of your choice.

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Grill/broil them for a few minutes until the skins brown and blister, approx 15-20 minutes. Turn the peppers once in between. Keep a close eye. Remove, let cool and puree them all until smooth. Store in the refrigerator and use in a week, or freeze to use later.
Note:
1. You can use an assortment of colored peppers, or just use red peppers. I didnt peel the peppers after I grilled/broiled them, you can if you want to.
2. You can also use roma tomatoes that are red but not over-ripe instead or peppers. Halve each tomato, season the halves and grill/broil them similarly for a few minutes, then puree into sauce and use instead of pepper sauce in the pasta for a different but equally delicious taste.

Luv,
Mona

Cheddar Cauliflower Bisque

Cheddar Cauliflower (a variety of the Orange Cauliflower) is a very flavorful Canadian Cauliflower, with a sweet and mild taste, a bright yellowish orange color, and rich in beta-carotenes (about 25 times more than white cauliflower).

Gorgeous Cheddar Cauliflower

I had seen this eye-catching variety of cauliflower for the first time the last year. And since then been enjoying them in various ways. This week, I again bought a few and prepared a delicious bisque which I thoroughly relished as my breakfast along with a crusty bread.

Cheddar Cauliflower florets

Cheddar Cauliflower Bisque

Ingredients:

Organic Cheddar Cauliflower – 1 large head, approx 650 gms, cut into florets, keep the tender cauliflower greens aside in a bowl
Yellow Onion – 1, medium sized, sliced into thick rings
Garlic cloves – 4
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Dried Bay leaf/Tej patta – 1, large, dried
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Kraft Light Singles, Cheddar cheese – 1 slice (halal)
2% Milk – 1 cup

Bright and nourishing ~ Cheddar Cauliflower Bisque

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400°C.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil and place the cauliflower florets, onion rings, and garlic cloves on it. Drizzle with 2 tsp canola oil and bake/roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Shake the baking sheet once in between during the time.

roasted florets and onion + greens + chicken stock

3. Transfer the baking sheet onto racks and let cool until warmish. Add the contents of the baking sheet into a saucepan and add 700 ml of chicken stock. Throw in the cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, red chilli powder, bayleaf and cover the lid. Let cook on medium heat until the cauliflower is tender.
4. Remove and discard the bayleaf from the saucepan. Transfer the contents to a blender container and puree until smooth. You can also a liquidizer. (At this stage, you can strain it if you prefer a smooth consistency, I didn’t because I did not want to waste anything). Pour it back into the saucepan.
5. Add cheddar cheese and the milk and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm with a crusty bread.

Did you know there exists a beautiful Purple Cauliflower too?

This warming bisque goes to Health Nut Challenge 3, which Yasmeen of Healthnut is hosting on her wonderful blog. Do mail her your entries before January 2010.

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Note: Earlier this year, I had made a humble contribution of my recipe for ‘Qimah Dum‘ for ‘The BloggerAid – Changing the Face of Famine Cookbook‘.

Dum ka Qimah

This cookbook includes recipes by over 140 bloggers over 60 countries from worldwide. 100% of the proceeds for the cookbook target children and education through the World Food Programme called School Meals. Do get your copy soon to go through the recipes and support the great cause

Luv,
Mona

Qimah Aloo Matar

The weather has not been good at all. Been playing games with us since the temperatures actually started to be in the two digits. Its has suddenly become so very hot, this being just the Spring in Canada and not Summer yet. Weather has been too topsy-turvy for the past two to three weeks, resulting in me catching Flu. It was terrible. Now I feel alright and thank my God for the good health again. It sure is a precious bounty-Good health.

I have not even been cooking since the past few days, but yesterday as I began to feel alright, I prepared Qimah Matar Aloo and had it with some warm Phulkas. It was so good. Good home cooked food is always very comforting and gives solace.

Qimah Aloo Matar – Ground meat with Peas and Potatoes Curry

For this recipe, you can use the ground meat of Veal, Lamb or Goat, whatever is available. It turns out equally delicious and I have tried this recipe with all the above mentioned meats.

Qimah Aloo Matar – Ground meat with Peas and Potatoes Curry

Ingredients:

For Gravy:
Canola/Sunflower Oil – 2 tbsp
Yellow Onion/Pyaz – 3 medium, finely chopped
Tomato – 1, large, chopped
Red Chilli Powder/Lalmirch Powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Potato – 2, medium, peeled and quartered
Tomato Ketchup – 2-3 tbsp (I use Heinz) OR Tomato Chilli Sauce – 2-3 tbsp
To Cook Qimah/Ground Meat:
Canola Oil/Sunflower Oil – 2 tbsp
Qimah/Ground Lamb/Veal/Goat meat – 700 gms, washed and drained in a very fine wire mesh strainer
Turmeric Powder/Haldi – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 2 tsp
Soya Sauce – 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp
Matar/Frozen green peas – 1/2 to 1/4 cup (if you are using dried green peas, soak them in surplus water a day before, drain and cook until just tender in fresh water)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese – 4 tbsp (optional)

Method:
1. Pour 2 tbsp oil into a non-stick heavy bottomed sauce pan at medium high heat and throw in the finely chopped onions as soon as the oil warms up. Keep stirring them until they are lightly browned.
2. Add the chopped tomato, tomato ketchup, red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Let it cook until it is mushy. Add the quarted potatoes and a little water and close lid for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
3. In an another saucepan, pour the rest of the oil, and add the washed and drained ground meat and let stand for a minute. Stir to break lumps and add turmeric powder, garam masala, soya sauce, lemon juice amd keep stirring until the water starts evaporating and the raw smell of the meat wards off.
4. Pour in the reserved gravy of tomato+onion+potato and mix the whole thing together. Let cook on low heat and when the water has almost evaporated, add frozen peas and give it a stir.
5. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, and serve hot.

Suggested Accompaniments:Serve it hot with Basmati Chawal / Naan/ Afghani Roti, along with a dollop of butter.

Tip: Leftovers? Use up this left over curry as the filling for Samosa for some very delicious Snacks.

Luv,
Mona

Navratan Khorma

Khorma is one dish which we can have with Pulao, or Plain Rice, or Parathas or Naan. Today I savored this curry along with Rajma Pulao. I love the meal the day I get to enjoy combination. It is even great for gatherings, when you can prepare this combination with some snacks and a dessert to finish off and impress your loved ones.

This dish comes from the cookbook India’s Vegetarian Cooking by Monisha Bharadwaj. I have tried many recipes from this cookbook and loved most of them. I have not yet bought this book, but it sure now is among the top in the list of my Cookbook Wishlist.

Navratan Korma – Nine Jewelled Curry

It was yummy, and I am glad I tried this recipe. You can dump in all the left over vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, peas, corn, capsicum, carrots, beans, from the refrigerator you have in you house. I have used only a few, I didnt have all those in the house.

Navratan Korma – Nine Jewelled Curry

Serves:4; Preperation Time:15 mins; Cooking time:25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables – 300 gms
  • Canola Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Onion – 1, small, finely sliced
  • Ginger Garlic Paste/Adrak-Lahsun Masala – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato Paste – 3 tbsp
  • Green Chillies – 3 fresh, slit in middle
  • Turmeric powder/Haldi – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Cashew Nuts – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Tinned Pineapple Chunks – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Light Cream – 100 ml
  • Cherries – to garnish
  • Cilantro – to garnish
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese – to garnish

Method:

  • Heat oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for a minute or so. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking and stir in the ginger garlic paste.
  • Add the tomato puree and chillies and cook until oil seperates, ading a couple of tablespoons of water to hasten the process.
  • Add the frozen vegetables, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Mix gently and cook for a couple of minutes before folding in the cashewnuts, pineapple and cream. Heat through without allowing to boil.
  • Serve hot garnished with the cherries, coriander leaves and cheese.

Suggested Accompaniments: You can have it along with Pulaos, Naan, Parathas, Basmati Chawal or Roti

Luv,
Mona