Saturday, December 15, 2007

Baked Pineapple Spaghetti

For whatever reason, cheesy, creamy things never attract me! Stark opposite is my dear hubby :) He ensured there was a baked vegetable in white sauce kinda dish in our wedding feast. If you've had an Indian wedding you must be aware what eating at your own wedding is like! I could *see* how good the food was, but not a morsel went down my throat! But yes I did manage to taste that creamy baked vegetable dish and in spite of all the wedding nerves I couldn't help but appreciate it :)

A few days later we went to this restaurant called "Bawarchee" in Ahmedabad. They serve some wonderful Punjabi food. Parthiv ordered this Baked Spaghetti with pineapple, and as my disposition goes, I was quite wary! No marks for guessing that it was amazing! For once I had found something creamy and cheesy that I liked :)

Once we returned to the US loaded with lots of Amul cheese we tried to reproduce our beloved pineapple spaghetti - doesn't come close to the original, but we love it anyways! (Amul is an Indian brand -read phenomenon, with a wide variety of dairy products)

Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 Cups (of cooked) Spaghetti (I also throw in some tri-color rotini sometimes)
1 cup mixed vegetables - I use peas, diced carrots, frozen corn (optional)
1 cup pineapple chunks (I use canned)
2.5 cups milk (1% reduced fat works just fine)
1 tbsp Butter/Margarine
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Salt, black pepper, sugar to taste
1/2 cup shredded white cheese (Amul cheese works the best. I use Monterey jack normally, any cheese that melts well will do)
1. Cook the spaghetti with salt (per instructions on package). When half way through, add all vegetables too.
2. While spaghetti is cooking make the white sauce. Heat butter in a sauce pan. Add flour to it and saute till it turns light pink and fragrant.
3. Add milk and stir constantly. If lumps are formed, blend the mix.If you use a lot of butter the chances of lumps are lesser, but I prefer to blend the mix rather than adding more fat.
4. Simmer the sauce stirring constantly till its thick. Add some sugar, salt and black pepper. Stir and taste. The sauce should taste milky and smooth. A little sugar kicks up the flavor.
5. Drain spaghetti as soon as its cooked . Mix with the white sauce. Add pineapple chunks.

6. Now prepare a baking dish. Grease the dish and spread some grated cheese at the bottom. Now spread the spaghetti mix. Top with another layer of cheese
(you can top this with some thin pineapple and bell pepper slices - looks good and both these things bake well).

7. Preheat oven to 350 F or so. Bake for 15-20 mins. You need to bake till the cheese on top begins to turn brown. Increase oven temperature if it looks like its
gonna take forever!
8. Serve!!

We enjoy this with a bit of ketchup :) Makes a hearty meal by itself or with some bread on the side. Cooks really fast, as you can do a lot of things in parallel. Put the spaghetti on the stove, chop carrots in the meanwhile, if you have frozen corn and peas, no more work required there. You will have enough time to prepare the sauce before the spaghetti cooks. And while its baking, you can clean the kitchen and set the table :) Which makes me think I could send this over to Ruth for her Presto Pasta Nights event. It is an ongoing event at her blog with roundups every Friday! Thank you for hosting Ruth.


Sagari said...

pineapple in pasta woww looks delecious

Rachel said...

wow cheesy and cheesy all the way!

Richa said...

ooh! la la! love all baked dishes(savory), looks toooooo tempting, am drooling here :)
i've a similar exp in a restaurant back home, u may chk out my baked veg post.
BTW, am so glad u enjoyed the soup, it's my fav as well. it makes no difference in taste whatsoever whether the onions crisp up or not, no worries there :) enjoy...

Rajitha said...

that does look good :)

Laavanya said...

I love cheesy baked dishes but wouldn't have dreamed up on with pineapple in my wildest dreams.

vimmi said...

Looks yummy. I loev russian salad which has mayo, cream, pineapple and veg. This will probably taste a bit like that yummo

TBC said...

that is a very interesting combination. I love pineapple and I also love cheese in mah dishes :-)...might try this...

Happy cook said...

Hey that is like piza, but really a good idea

Mansi Desai said...

Oh girl!! I am sooooo drooling on this recipe!!!! this reminds me of a restaurant in India that me and my then-BF husband used to hound for their baked macaroni!!!:)

brilliant Shweta, I'll surely try this once as we regularly make pasta at home!

Shweta said...

Thanks Sagari!

Hi Rachel! Good thing is if you make your sauce in low fat milk and use reduced fat cheese like I did, this dish is creamy but not that fatty! :)

Richa! I did check out your post and I get the sentiment, the whole desparation behind recreating some tastes :) I will try your baked veg sometime, Parthiv will love it, and so will I, I think :)

Thanks Rajitha :)

Laavanya, I know pineapple sounds weird in there, but try it once, those flavors were apparently meant to go hand in hand :D

Vimmi, that Russion salad sounds so yum! I remember eating that in India!

TBC, If you love the ingredients do give this a shot!

Happy cook, Thanks :) The "Bawarchee" people thought of the idea, I am just trying to be a copy-cat :p

Thanks Mansi, will all those wonderful dishes you whip uo so regularly, this indeed is a compliment :) Do try this sometime, I am sure you'll love it!

Jeena said...

Hi there I love your blog you have great recipes. This baked pasta recipe sounds lovely I love peas with pasta too. :-)

Seema said...

I love creamy pasta dishes, but adding pineapple is new.. sounds interesting!

Asha said...

YUM YUM!! Really delicious dish, good job S!:))

Ruth Daniels said...

Very interesting combination. Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Lalaine said...

Hello. I was browsing through the Pasta Presto Night round up trying to figure out the rules for the blog event when I saw your recipe! Ohhh, I am going to make that tomorrow as part of our Christmas luncheon in place of the macaroni salad I was planning. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

Sia said...

i am not cheese fan and i can totally relate to what u said:)

Purnima said...

I fell over for this dish and made tried it out yesterday!I used shredded mozarella cheese n macaroni and the result was awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

Shweta said...

I am sorry for the late response ladies! I was on a month long vacation and just couldn't manage to write back to you all... But I am back now :) Hoping to resume blogging very soon!

Jeena, Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments :)

Seema, It is an unsual combo, but believe me its worth a try :)

Ashaji, Thanks :)

Ruth, Thanks for dropping by and many thanks for hosting such a wonderful weekly event!

Lalaine, Welcome to my blog! I felt honored just reading your comment :)

Sia! You must be my long lost sister or something! Its very hard to find people in this category :D

Purnima, I am so glad you tried the recipe and liked it. I am also going to make it with macaroni next time, sounds like a great idea! Thanks for trying the recipe :)


Hi am here for the first time...and you have a wonderful blog here!!
Nice pasta...pineapple would be a great addition!!

Srivalli said...

Shweta that looks yummy..thanks for dropping by..hope to see more of your yummy foods..

musical said...

Hi Shweta, how have you been? This is one yummy dish, girl!

Samuel said...

I actually made something like this by accident a few weeks ago. Today I decided to make this recipe and I loved it. I might experiment with a sweet and sour version in the near future.