Jan 14, 2013

And some more pasta…

I love a good pasta, and its not secret to the readers of this blog, right? In spite of this undying love for pasta, I rarely order pasta when I eat out in Hyderabad, they try to pass off some soggy pasta in tomato sauce for Arrabbiata ... and I always feel I can do much better than those pastas.

Peanut Hummus & Chilli Pesto Pasta-1

The only pasta I relish is Masala Mafia in Little Italy. That one, I love, totally.
Now, not eating pasta anywhere out but loving it is a tough combination, which is why am always on a
lookout for a good pasta sauce recipe, or spent a lot of time thinking them up. This one is from one such thought processes, and of course that awesome Red Chilli Pesto pasta I had in Chillies.

Peanut Hummus & Chilli Pesto Pasta-2

Yes... that was one awesome pasta I had... one of the best I've eaten. The first forkful made me feel like I was in Pasta-Heaven, and I had decided there and then to recreate that pasta. Only when I got down to deconstructing that pasta did it occur to me that there had to be some other protein in it. It couldn't have been just red chilli pesto coz I hadn't felt the searing heat of the chilli. There was a flavor and the distinct color, yes, but not the heat. I couldn't figure out what they used, but I decided to turn to one of my favorite ingredients, Peanuts.

Peanut Hummus & Chilli Pesto

Peanut Hummus is something I thought up, very similar to the peanut chutney we Telugus pair with Idlis, our breakfast staple. So keeping the peanuts as a base, I worked around the other ingredients to make it non-South-Indian, yet keep it Indian. I roasted a handful of peanuts, and ground them to a thick paste with some garlic cloves and salt.

As for the chilli paste, I just ground up a good amount of red chillies with salt and refrigerated the paste. I used some fresh red chillies that are in season now, but if you do not get these, you can soak up a handful of dried red chillies in hot water and grind them.

Peanut Hummus & Chilli Pesto Pasta-3

This pasta was yummy, with a distinct peanut flavor, and the faint heat of the chillies. If you, like me, love peanuts you'll love this. If you are not a peanut lover, you'll still love this pasta for the amount of nutrients it packs up, and its amazingly simple method of preparation! :)

Peanut Hummus & Chilli Pesto Pasta-4

Chilli Pesto & Peanut Pasta [Serves 1]
Level - Medium
Preparation time - 15 min, if you have all the ingredients ready,
30 min, if you have to start from scratch

Peanut Hummus - 1/4 C [Preparation below]
Red chilli paste - 1 Tbsp [Depending on how hot this is!]
Mustard paste - 1 Tbsp
Olive oil - 1 Tbsp
Garlic cloves - 4-6, finely diced
Dried Oregano - 1/2 Tsp
Paneer (Cottage Cheese) - 1/4 C [Optional]
Salt - To taste
Pasta – 1 C [I used 4 whole wheat vermicelli nests]

Peanut Hummus – Roast a handful peanuts. Let it cool and remove the skin off the peanuts. Grind them with the
garlic cloves in a mixer-grinder with some water. Add salt to taste, and refrigerate it.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.

Heat oil in a pan, and sauté the garlic cloves. Sprinkle the dried oregano on this.
Add the peanut hummus, mustard and red chilli pastes and sauté them all together.
If this resembles a thick paste, add some boiling water to get this to a sauce-like consistency.
Add salt to taste, and gently mix the cooked pasta to this.
Sprinkle the crumbled cottage cheese on this, if using.
Serve hot.


  1. would never have thought of red chilli pesto! but i rarely think up 'out of the box'

    1. Yeah, even I would've not thought of this, had it not been for the Chillis pasta...

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  3. I loved reading this piece! Well written! :)

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