This is what happens when you take the main ingredients from a different country and use the spices of your own country and make a dish out of it. Pasta need not be made in Italian style as a rule. I made it into an Indian dish and a darn good one I should say.
There is another big plus with this dish. Quick and easy to make, healthy and is perfect since you can dump whatever vegetables you want to use.
One Year Back - Pasta with Marinated Grilled Tofu
Rotini - 2 cups (about half of the standard box. I used whole grain pasta)
Swiss Chard - 1 bunch stalk and leaves separated and chopped
Red Onions - 2 medium chopped into chunks
Green Squash - 2 small or 1 large chopped into chunks (optional - I peeled the squash. You can use as is)
Crushed tomatoes - 1 cup or puree 4 medium tomatoes in a blender
Garlic - 4 cloves minced or grated
Ginger - 1/2" piece peeled and grated
Ricotta cheese - 3/4 cup - 1 cup (Part skim)
Sour cream or yogurt - 1/4 cup - See Notes
Oil - 3 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste (Use cayane or paprika if you want milder heat)
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Bring a large pot of overly salted water to boil. Meanwhile, heat a pan with oil. When hot, add ginger and garlic and onions. Sprinkle very little salt and let it cook. When onions are half done, add the stalk part of the swiss chard followed by green squash pieces if using. Let them cook. When water comes to boil, add the pasta and stir. Let it cook till al dente. To the pan with veggies, add the spices, crushed tomatoes. Stir. Let them all cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the leaf part of the chopped swiss chard. Mix well. Add ricotta, sour cream or yogurt and mix well. By now, the pasta should be cooked. Drain the pasta reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add pasta to the veggie mixture. Toss to combine and loosen the whole sauce with the pasta water. Adjust the salt if needed. Serve warm. If you are planning to serve later, reserve some pasta water and add a bit of it and microwave before serving.
This was so flavorful for us and not too spicy that even my kids enjoyed eating it. I did not use too much of spices for that reason. Increase the red chilli powder if you are serving adults who are spicy food eaters.
You can skip using ricotta and sourcream and use heavy cream instead. I like to use the ricotta since I can use fat free or part skim. If you are watching your calories, use milk about a cup instead. You can add your favorite veggies here.