Pesto Pasta Impromptu

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Today, I had an urge to eat pasta, with pesto sauce. All I had was pasta and two handfuls of fresh basil from our little kitchen garden. No, no Olive oil, no Pine kernels and no Parmesan! So then, how on earth am I going to make a pesto?!

As usual, I improvised and believe me it was one of the best pasta I have ever made! Yum!

So here goes the recipe:


Pasta spirals – 300g

French beans, cut into long pieces (1-2 inch long)  – 200g

Processed cheese, grated – a small block about 50-75g

Basil leaves – 2 handfuls

Almonds, blanched and skin removed – 8-10

Dry red chillies – 2-3

Cooking oil – 1 tbsp

Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed

Eggs, poached/ sunny side up – 4

Butter – 1 tbsp (small block)

Black Pepper – freshly pounded (to taste)

Salt to taste


  • Boil pasta with plenty of water and 2 tsp salt until it is tender and has a bite to it.
  • In the meantime blanch the cut beans or you can microwave, as I did, without any liquid in a glass bowl, covered for 3-4 minutes (on high power)
  • Make a paste of a handful of basil leaves, cheese and almonds with a tbsp water from pasta.
  • In a heavy base pan heat the butter and oil together, add crushed garlic and break dry chilies into it. Sauté for about a minute or until you get the smoky aroma of chilli and garlic.
  • Add drained pasta and cooked beans to the pan. Mix well.
  • Next add the pesto paste, mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finally break rest of the basil leaves with hands and add to the pasta.
  • Serve hot topped with poached eggs.  
  • And enjoy!


Serves: 4

Please try and post comments to encourage me to create more recipes.


Sun-dried Tomatoes

A few days ago day temperature reached a maximum of 46 degrees. I saw in the news that people were trying to use scorching heat of sun to cook dosa and omelet. Hot summer days are blessing in disguise when it comes to sun-dry tomatoes, I thought to myself. All it took 4-5 days and above 2 kg tomatoes to make a jarful of sun-dried tomatoes.

Sun-dried tomatoes are extremely flavorful. A combination of piquantness – sweetness makes it a fantastic ingredient for a refreshing salad. I also love using it to make pesto sauce. Or simply serve it along with olives and cheese as appetizers with chilled wine on a warm summer evening!

While summer is still here to stay for nearly another month, make the most of it!



Red juicy tomatoes – 2 kg
Salt – 2 tbsp

To store:

Extra virgin olive oil – 300ml (approx.)
Fresh Italian basil – 10-12 leaves



• Wash and towel dry tomatoes.
• Cut them into about ½ cm thick slices.
• Arrange them in two large baking trays.
• Sprinkle generously with salt.
• Place the trays in direct sun light. I prefer to keep it indoors where there is enough strong sunlight passing through a glass door/window.
• Due to action of salt, tomatoes release their juices. Do not remove this liquid but instead keep the trays under a running fan throughout the night. Otherwise pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, turn it off and leave the trays in the oven overnight.
• Keep the trays for at least another 3-4 days in the sunlight, until they are completely dry.


• To store them, arrange tomatoes in a clean glass jar adding few fresh basil leaves. Add extra virgin olive oil to cover the tomatoes completely and close the lid.

You can keep it for a year under the oil.

Tip: Use this oil to make salad dressing.