I mentioned a lot of times in my posts, that I am an Italian food fanatic. I can gorge over pizzas and pastas daily 😀 I have shared many number of pizza recipes – some the authentic international way and some with an Indian twist like uttapam pizza and pizza pancakes.
Today I am sharing my tomato-based creamy penne pasta, but of course, without using cream. I used roasted nuts to get a creamy and silky texture and this is a very quick recipe with few vegetables and of course pasta sauce. You may check the recipe for the sauce at my link – Marinara/pasta sauce.
Penne pasta is my favorite kind of pasta. You can use any pasta shapes that is your favorite. I sometimes use skinny pasta like my pasta with grapes and skinny pasta with tomatoes. Another recipe using penne uses a classic hollandaise sauce and lots of broccoli – penne in white sauce.
Sometimes, I even like to eat pasta with soups just so that I need not gain all the calories from pasta and at the sametime satisfy my pasta cravings. Minestrone soup is a classic Italian soup and I even cooked this for a cooking competition held by Powai – Powaifest 2015.
Cooking time: 20 mins
Pasta – 2 cups (I used penne)
Pasta/marinara sauce – 1 cup (check my recipe)
Butter/oil – 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves – 2 (finely chopped)
Roasted nuts (almonds, pistachios) – 2 tbsp each
Mixed Italian herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil etc) – 1 tsp, optional
Red chili flakes – ½ tsp, optional
Cherry tomatoes/regular tomatoes – ¼ cup (I used cherry tomatoes)
Spinach/palak leaves – a handful
Onion – 1, small (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp (very finely chopped)
Salt – to taste
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
- Boil about 4-5 cups of water in a large vessel. Add a pinch of salt and ½ tsp oil to it. This will prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes. Make sure that you do not overcook the pasta.
- Strain the pasta and place it in cold water. Keep aside for now.
- Blend the roasted nuts with 3-4 tbsp water to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a deep-pan and add the oil/butter, red chili flakes and garlic. Saute for a minute.
- Then add the onions and fry for another minute.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves, mixed herbs and give a good stir.
- Pour in the pasta sauce, salt and pepper to taste, roasted nut paste and let it come to a boil. Then add the cooked pasta, coriander leaves and remove from heat.
- Serve hot with any crunchy bread on the side!!
- I added pitted black olives just before serving, but it is completely optional.
- Placing the boiled pasta in cold water is important to prevent it from sticking together.
- Do add parmesan cheese if you have it. It gives a good salty and nutty taste.
- Instead of spinach, you may add fresh basil leaves too.
You can check my collection of pizza recipes – stove-top pizza, pizza with garlic bread crust, tree pizza, easy coin pizza (stove-top), dessert pizza, deep dish pizza, thin crust pizza. Check out my essential pizza recipes — how to make pizza dough and homemade pizza sauce.