I love working with fresh ingredients, and luckily enough for me – I can get them delivered weekly to my doorstep (Green Tokri, holla!). This week, my choice ingredient was Basil. I’ve never made a Pesto sauce from scratch before, so this was as good a time as any to give it a try. As you may or may not know, Parmesan Cheese is a premium ingredient, traditionally used along with Pine Nuts and Basil to make a Pesto sauce. Unfortunately, even the smallest Parmesan slabs available at stores here are too expensive for my budget, so I decided to improvise and use Amul Cheese instead. Purists – I know what you’re thinking – blasphemy! – but this was just for experimental and economical purposes, so don’t judge. Here’s how it went down:
Last week I went shopping for supplies and found the most gorgeous looking Cherry Tomatoes so of COURSE I had to use them in my most favourite food – pasta!
Originally, I had the concept of a sort of Arrabbiata – Aglio Oglio mix in mind (Red sauces are my fave, and they’re also much healthier than white sauces), but I did some research and decided to make my version of a ‘Quick Fix Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Roast Garlic‘. I like to chuck different ingredients together and see what happens, rather than rigidly following a recipe (nothing wrong with that either, I just prefer experimenting on my own). I don’t use specific quantities, I just go on instinct, so in case any of you needs exact measurements, I used this recipe as a guideline – ‘Pasta with Roasted Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes’.
Here’s what happened:
Olive Bistro is certainly one of my favourite places to dine in Pune, and when my lovely friend Roxanne aka ‘The Tiny Taster‘ invited me to join her for a tasting of their new menu, I simply couldn’t resist! We were treated to a custom-tailored menu featuring some of their popular ‘specials’ as well as a few new treats, all meant to highlight the bold, simple flavours of true Bistro-style food. Chef Noah Barnes – the youngest Chef in India to represent at the Hans Bueschkens Young Chefs Challenge Asia Semi Final in 2011, Hong Kong – was kind enough to take time out from running the kitchen to come and explain each dish at our table.