Spaghetti in Indian sauce

If anyone has taken the Childcraft series for their children by 'World book', they would be familiar with the song

At Signora Pittipatti's,
In her backyard there's a treat.
At Signora Pittipatti's,
Let's see what she's left us to eat.

This SONG happens when Poldy and the birds(?) visit Italy and teach children about textures. My children grew up on a regular dose of Poldy and hum all the songs that Poldy's cassettes held even today (I don't think these books are available now)! Whenever she heard this particular song, my daughter would ask me for spaghetti. I was a little skeptical about her liking it, and so never even bothered to make it - instead I would make noodles and pass it as spaghetti!!

Now however, she is no longer the little girl she used to be and, when this time she asked me for it, I just had no excuse to refuse. My son on the other hand, is still fussy, and I just know (as all mothers do about their kids!) that he won't eat spaghetti if I make it with the regular Italian sauce. (Visitors are welcome to give their own suggestions for variations!)

The result was this concoction - Cheesy spaghetti with Indian sauce! The Indian sauce consists of the regular tomato gravy containing potatoes, peas and baby corn. Like all mothers, I too jazz up or twist dishes to suit my kids' tastes!

This turned out pleasantly tasty! Of course, there isn't too much difference except that I haven't used the regular spaghetti sauce veggies like gherkins and instead used potatoes which I assume is an Indian favourite!

Here's how you go about it - quick n easy! Since I have just used whatever was available, the quantities are all approximations. Besides spaghetti is such a flexible dish - you can just add and delete as per your liking!

Spaghetti - I must have used about 100g.
(Cook it as per instructions on the pack. Wash in running cold water and set aside to drain)
Cheese - 2 cubes of amul cheese
Whole wheat flour - 1tsp.
Milk - 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups.
Butter - 1/2tsp.

Potatoes (Boiled and peeled) - 2 small
Shelled and boiled peas - 1/2cup
Tomatoes puree - 100g
Dry Oregano - 1 tbsp.
Dry Rosemary - 1tsp.
Dry fenugreek leaves - 1tbsp.
Salt - to taste
turmeric pdr. - a pinch
asfoetida pdt. - a pinch
red chilli powder or (tobasco sauce) - to taste
Olive oil - 1tbsp.

Parsley - for the garnish

Heat the butter and roast the wheat flour till aroma exudes. Add milk and stir till it turns thick. Grate cheese and add and stir. If it is not blended, give the mixture a run in the mixer. Again heat and add the cold, drained spaghetti and fold to coat the spaghetti all over with the sauce. It should be a thickish spaghetti with a little liquid but not runny. We do not want a lumpy mass after sometime so if it looks a little thin that all right. It will thicken in no time.

Heat a tbsp. of olive oil. Add the tomato puree, boiled and chopped potatoes, salt, peas and spices. Mix till the gravy looks shiny and coats the veggies. If it is a little sour, add a little milk or cream or butter after it comes down to nearly room temperature (Mine was right, so didn't have to do much!).

Scoop the spaghetti on to the plate. Top with the gravy and garnish with coriander leaves or parsley.

Note: Nobody eats the parsley but the mother!

Just to end the song I started's how the pasta verse goes:

Pasta so long and slippery,
Take some, give it a try.
Spaghetti very wriggly,
Oh mamma mia, oh my.

Give it a tune of your own and sing it along with your child while playing with the spaghetti and the fork - It is fun!

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