K’s lunchbox is like my one excited cooking moment of the day. What to make (and subsequently pack) is a question I am asking myself almost everyday.
I make a weekly list of things I can make in the stupor of the morning that won’t take too long. It helps to have a list because in the mornings, the last thing I can do is to be creative while watching the clock hands tick away. This pasta (like most pastas in my life) is crowd pleasing and can be done in less than 20 minutes. Quantities can be altered according to need and passes muster on my benchmark for a dish that is a crowd pleaser – is welcome at a lunch / brunch buffet.
You know those garlic pods, that decide to spring to life in the vegetable tray of the fridge? I planted a bunch of them in a plastic takeaway tub filled with growing medium. In a week, green garlic shoots were ready for cutting. I snip them with a pair of scissors and they grow back. Conveniently placed on the wall of my kitchen, they are at arms length to be thrown into scrambled eggs, omelets, pasta, soup or a salad. Sometimes I use them in place of fresh coriander leaves as a garnish for Indian style vegetable dishes. They add a mild garlic flavour and are subtle enough not to make you want to drink mouthwash after your meal 😛
Mushroom and Garlic Chives Pasta (Serves 2)
3 cups cooked pasta (I used penne, but any short pasta will do)
1 medium onion, sliced thickly
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/4 cup fresh garlic chives
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Heat a pan over medium high heat and add the oil, when warm, toss in the red chilli flakes, after a couple of seconds, ensuring the chilli doesn’t burn, add the onion and mushrooms and a little of the salt.
Saute for 3-4 minutes until the mushroom and onions are very lightly caramelising.
Add the cooked pasta, and toss well. Season with salt as per taste, garnish with the garlic chives and toss again. Drizzle with 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil and serve.