There is a common feature of people in general who live abroad; that is to hang around in cafes, shopping malls, pubs and clubs. This is because as and when you land in a new country you barely know anyone. Sometimes when I think about it, it gives me a strange feeling, these group of people called ex-pats aren’t necessarily all from the same home countries, but, often the mere experience of trading lands and cultures is enough to link them together and build the foundations of a friendship.
We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time to adore our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.
Such uncountable experiences which you treasure becomes some pleasant memories to cherish. Eventually, these people become our extended family with whom we could share our joys and sorrows and hence become a very important part of our lives. My love for hosting friends over the weekends are not just confined to lunches and dinner, but also tea- coffee meets, or even just a chit- chat over a drink and some unending jamming session or musical nights.
Actually, you know what I love about such weekend meets is the “feel good” time you spent with lots of laughter over some simple food.
My Mediterranean Pasta is one such dish very unique and different from any usual pasta dishes, light, lemony and fresh which is perfect when you call your friends for lunch, brunch, dinner, still stay chilled and relaxed. And, I bet you will still remain a charmer with just one simple dish. Go ahead, treat your friends and loved ones with good food and good times, creating some memories that are never to forget.
Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Garlic Grilled Chicken
INGREDIENTS for the Pasta
- 400gm penne pasta
- 1/2 a can of chopped tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes crushed in a chopper.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil and little extra for drizzle on top
- A handful of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
- Few fresh basil
- 1Tsp lemon rind
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1-2 tsp Mixed pasta spices or 1 Tsp oregano
- Quater cup of mixed olives
- 1 cup of diced vegetables of your choice( broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant)
- Heat the oil in a wide, deep-sided saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, 30 seconds, then add the eggplant, season with salt and the pepper. Partially cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, or until soft. Lastly, add in 1 tbsp of the mixed pasta spice, lemon rind, and the oregano.
- Meanwhile, in a deep bottom sauce pan bring 3/4 level of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the penne pasta with 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook according to the package directions, should be done in 8-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Add the drained pasta to the ready tomato sauce, and add just enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to create a sauce that coats the bucatini. Add more salt and/or pepper and oregano, as needed. Sprinkle the remaining pasta spice over the pasta, serve hot dusted with some parmesan cheese if needed.
INGREDIENTS for Grilled Garlic Chicken
- 4 chicken breast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp corn meal
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tsp pepper
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
DIRECTION for garlic Grilled Chicken
- Preheat the oven at max for 7 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 250-degree Celcius. Now line a baking tray with aluminium foil and brush with a quick layer of cooking oil.
- In a separate bowl marinate the chicken breast with all the above ingredients and arrange them on your baking tray. Bake it at 250-degree Celsius for, 25-30 minutes, until nice crispy and golden brown crust. Serve it with some salads, mayo and dips.