Recipe: Creamy Masala Pasta

Recipe: Creamy Masala Pasta

Viv uses a pan to re-create a delicious Italian vegetarian dish from Utah – bush style.

Ingredients

  • Serves 6
  • Pasta (75g-115g per person)
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 to 2 cups of thickly sliced or quartered mushrooms (depending on how much you like mushrooms)
  • 1 1⁄3 cup of Marsala wine
  • 1 to 1 1⁄3 cup of thickened cream
  • 1/3 cup of beef or chicken stock (I use chicken stock, as its flavour is more subtle)
  • Red onion – peeled and cut into small wedges
  • Red capsicum – cut lengthwise in half
  • Zucchini – sliced lengthwise in half 
  • Eggplant (optional) – sliced
  • Tomatoes (as many Cherry or Roma as you like) – cut large tomatoes 
  • into quarters 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Prepare ingredients first, then roast vegetables in an oven or grill them on a griddle pan or barbecue.

To roast
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Scatter the vegetables (except tomatoes) in a large roasting pan or camp oven. Drizzle oil over them before seasoning with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Toss vegetables around to make sure they are all coated in a little oil and spread out evenly on the tray.

Step 3: Bake for about 15 minutes, then put in the tomatoes and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until everything starts to soften and brown, and the skins on the capsicum turn black.

Step 4: To fry: easier still, especially when camping, grill the vegetables on your barbecue until just tender and they have some nice brown charred marks.

Step 5: Peel the charred skin off the capsicum. Cut the vegetables into largish pieces (leave the small tomatoes whole). Set them all aside for later.

Sauce
Step 1:
Heat a little oil in a large pan, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté them until tender (about 3 minutes).

Step 2: Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 to 4 minutes and then stir in the cream and stock. Season to taste and simmer for a few minutes or until heated through.

Step 3: Add the prepared roasted or grilled vegetables and simmer for a few minutes until everything is hot. Add the hot-cooked pasta to the Marsala-vegetable mixture and stir to combine, or spoon the pasta into a bowl, and top with the Marsala-vegetable mixture and serve.

Fried pasta
For campers, this is a great tip, as you don’t have to wait for the water to boil before adding the pasta, which saves time and water.

Step 1: Put the pasta in a large pan or similar (I used spaghetti). Put about 6 cups or more of cold water and a good pinch of salt into the pan and turn the heat to high. The pasta should be covered with about 50mm of water. Because the pasta is cold, it shouldn’t stick to itself at the beginning.

Step 2: Spread the pasta apart and bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat to high-medium and cook until the pasta is al dente (about 10 mins or the usual cooking time).

From the start, I lifted and separated the pasta, using tongs and stirred it occasionally while cooking.

Viv’s hints

Use any vegetables you prefer. Prepare them before you leave home. To make things even easier when camping, instead of roasting the vegetables, you can use semi-dried tomatoes and ready-made roasted red capsicum, eggplant and zucchini from a jar or your deli. I have to say, though, that fresh, grilled vegetables have a better flavour and texture.

Use your favourite ravioli (such as chicken and mushroom filling) instead of pasta. Add some cooked chicken pieces. Add a sprinkle of dried thyme and stir through – not too much or it will take over. Add some freshly chopped red chilli (or dried chilli flakes) if you want a bit more zing.

Sprinkle with some chopped spring onion just before serving.

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