Making a first impression

Spaghetti in tomato and basil sauce with caramelised walnuts and mushrooms

I’m a fool for spaghetti. I love it in any form – dunked in drippy, chunky tomato sauce or simply sprinkled with exceptional parmesan cheese or gently tossed in olive oil or gracefully lying in pesto, topped with black olives. Any kind of warm spaghetti is spaghetti enough.

When I make it at home, I try to do it as differently as possible from last time. I play around with sauces, pair it with random ingredients, toss it in flavoured oils and do with it, what I wouldn’t do with penne, farfelle or any other kind of pasta. Because unlike its shapely cousins, spaghetti holds little sauce and always remains the hero of the dish.

Today, I made the spaghetti with the classic tomato and basil sauce.  To give the dish some spunk, I tossed some fresh mushrooms and walnuts in homemade caramel and served it alongside.

Ingredients: 1 cup spaghetti (boiled), 1 small tomato (finely chopped), 4 garlic pods (roughly chopped), ¼ cup Italian basil leaves, 2-3 tablespoon olive oil, ½ cup walnuts (halved), ½ cup mushrooms (roughly diced), ½ tablespoon butter, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon water, black pepper and sea salt for seasoning, 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

Method: In a pan heat olive oil and add garlic. Tip-in the tomatoes and season it with some sea salt. Let the tomatoes sizzle for about seven to eight minutes and add the hand-torn basil leaves to it. Stir the mixture well and let it simmer until the tomatoes look well-cooked. You can add extra olive oil if the mixture feels too dry. Let this sauce rest for a while and give it a quick/small whisk in the grinder. Toss the boiled spaghetti in the sauce and keep it aside.

Now take a heavy-bottomed pan and melt the butter. To this, add sugar, water and keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Once the caramel gets rich, thick and golden brown, stop stirring. Drop the walnut halves into this hot liquid and coat them well. Add the mushrooms and let them absorb all the leftover caramel.  Season this with a pinch of salt and pepper.

To plate, place the saucy spaghetti along with the caramalised walnuts and mushrooms. Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top and serve hot.

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52 thoughts on “Making a first impression

  1. Yay! Sonal is finally a blogger. I loved the post. Especially your description of the spaghetti. And I’m really kicked to try the recipe too. Sounds mouth watering.

  2. Hey! You’re Manali’s friend? 🙂
    Nice post. Can I give you some advice?
    Please write your ingredients one below the other. It looks a bit congested. (hope you don’t mind)
    Otherwise, delicious dish! The idea to toss those healthy walnuts – genius!!

    Kavi | –
    Kavi | Edible Entertainment

  3. Ooohhh, lovely first post… souds really delicious..:) Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging… You have lovely modern style of writing… Keep it coming..:) Now you have one humble follower..
    Reva

  4. Such an adorable name you’ve given your blog! And did you draw the header picture yourself? Very cute. I look forward to reading more of your favourite recipes in the future.

  5. Thirteen comments (well 14 now!) Excellent start, S! Very approachable and friendly tone, it makes me want to try the recipe now 🙂 I would agree with listing the ingredients one below the other. Also, if the main sauce was tomato-basil, I would like to see some more redness in the picture! “Unlike its shapely cousins, spaghetti holds little sauce and always remains the hero of the dish.” — agree, agree, a hundred times over. We rarely “want” farf(a)lle, but when we want spaghetti, we say it just like that, “I want spaghetti”. Lovely post, Sonal!

  6. That’s the best blog name I’ve seen so far! You’ve proven your creativity in the name alone. I would never have thought to put walnuts and mushrooms in caramel sauce to add to spaghetti. Spaghetti is so versatile isn’t it? Great to play around with as you say! Luck with your new blog. I can’t wait for the next inspiration!

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