Tuesday, April 20, 2010

pasta with barley and assorted vegetables.........

Pasta is one of those favourite meals that we end up eating pasta quite frequently. Pasta keeps making an appearance on our dining table between all those millet breads and multigrain meals that we normally have. I try and make pasta dishes healthy too as a flavorful bowl of pasta is such a comfort food for me that no other foreign origin food could be like this. Not even 2 minute noodles.

I always add loads of vegetables in the pasta I cook. All possible colours of the season and some more grains in the form of pearl barley or Barnyard millet sometimes.


This kind of food is something my husband loves eating. Any thing other that the usual daal chawal roti subzi routine is welcomed warmly. It does not mean by any chance that I cook only for his choices, the choices are all mine when it comes to food. I am the one who cooks by the way. It's just that I love to see him drool over the food and pick up all those things which he earlier used to pick and chuck into the sink. Yes I have survived that :-)

Isn't that a great excuse to cook for someone. On a serious note, eating healthy and cooking healthy for the daily meals is all the more important for us. Healthy eating is a conscious choice as there are so many other things in life which we cannot choose. Healthy pleasurable eating we can......always...even in a frugal kitchen like mine....

I know the assorted vegetables I have used for this pasta is not considered frugal by any means in our country. Zucchini and mushrooms are two such veggies which can be very very costly here. Using these vegetables in peak season makes sense as they come a bit cheaper and are fresh and packed with nourishment as well. And I grow my own oregano. Still a frugal kitchen mine is.

I love lots of garlic into my pasta. Italians may smirk at this kind of garlic going into pasta, they usually season the oil with garlic and remove before proceeding to add other ingredients as they do not like biting into the garlic pieces. But not me. I love all those garlic bits coming in, fried lightly either in butter or olive oil.....look at the picture how much garlic I use for this....

ingredients...

any tubular pasta 1 cup uncooked
pearl barley boiled and drained 1 cup
zucchini chopped 2 cups
mushrooms chopped 2 cups
whole spinach leaves a dozen or more
tomatoes seeds removed n chopped 2 cups
sun dried tomatoes chopped 2 heaped tbsp
garlic chopped finely 1 heaped tbsp
butter 1 tsp
red chilly flakes 1 tbsp
EVOO 2 tbsp




procedure...

Boil the pasta as per instructions....keep aside.

Heat butter in a pan and dunk in the garlic and sun dried tomatoes at once, even before the butter melts....let it become frothy and the tomatoes release some color.........add the olive oil and dunk in the chopped zucchini and stir fry till a bit soft.........


Add all the veggies and salt and oregano (not tomatoes yet) ...stir fry till the vegetables are cooked but not squishy.....add boiled barley and pasta in the last with tomatoes so that the tomatoes remain firm ....cook for another couple of minutes till the pasta is warmed and tomato pieces are a bit soft yet firm.........

Serve hot and enjoy the juicy veggies with this tangy hot pasta ...the barley tastes like pasta too I must tell you ......and you will never realize that a healthy whole grain has been consumed with such pleasure......


Herbs can be used as per choice. I use oregano and basil mostly (both together or either one of them at a time), just because I grow them in my garden and they are available fresh.

If you don't have access to fresh herbs I would say use the local herbs rather that the dried ones...we don't get good quality dried herbs  here......coriander greens, dill greens and mint is great for this too....

Such meals are happy meals for both of us as I don't have to toil much in the kitchen and we get a colorful, flavorful and healthy meal ........

22 comments:

  1. I too love garlic very much .Recipe sounds very delicious!! Pics look tempting.

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  2. That's a happy meal for sure....so colorful and healthy with all the veggies, this is comfort food for me too :)...reg your comment about the tulips, I got those in a bunch and just trimmed the stems to equal length and arranged them in a glass, this way it is economical than getting a whole bouquet :)

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  3. Even I love garlic in my food...it gives a unique flavor and aroma..The pasta looks tempting and mouthwatering and healthy too :)

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  4. Sangeeta, Love that platter.... I'm in a same boat llike u when it comes to pasta....pasta is welcome anytim in my house, with lots of veggies & garlic...perfect comfort food & perfect one pot meal...

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  5. A new and healthy combo! I too love pastas and have them when i m in no mood to cook :)

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  6. healthy pasta with vegetables....

    first time here...also welcome to my space....will visit often....

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  7. Barley in pasta sounds so interesting dear and yes Itoo love the bite of crunchy garlic in my pasta.

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  8. looks so delicious and one of my favorite dishes! i love the addition of barley to the pasta. Your gardening has always amazed me, everything looks wonderful and fresh!

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  9. Hey Sangeeta I absolutely love this pasta .. It's very appealing ..very nutritious and delicious too.

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  10. pasta and barley definitely seems a rare combo!

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  11. deliciously attractive Sangeetha. I tried searching in google for pearl barley, what;s that..

    looks rich.

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  12. pearl barley is the hulled barley grains , i made a soup with it today n will post the pictures of pearl barley with it.

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  13. I've been sitting here wondering what to have for lunch today. Maybe pasta will hit the spot. Thanks Sangeeta!

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  14. What a special pasta dish! I love the addition of barley!

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  15. I always prefer home made pastas than the restaurant bought as they don't add any veggies. love pasta with lots and lots and lots of veggies. adding barley to this is an unique idea. looks lovely.

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  16. i love pearl barley, but never cooked it this way, always had it in soup. this is a great idea.

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  17. Barley camouflaged in pasta!!...smart!
    :)

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  18. Such a wholesome dish! It is very addictive indeed!

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  19. Hi Sangeeta,
    firstly want to tell you, I absolutely love your blog and your recopies are very very interesting and I love recreating them. I have been trying to search for pearl barley but I haven't managed finding it. Can you pls help me with where i could find it in Delhi.

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  20. Hi Shivani. Thanks for the lovely feedback :-)
    I get my pearl barley from my chakki wala who mills my millet and wheat flours. But it is available in INA market as well.

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