25 Jan 2013

Penne Alfredo (minus the Cream)

Notice anything different? The blog has got its own domain now and a logo as well! Let me know what you think about the new look... 

Now let's talk food & Italy! In my first post for 2013 I had written about visiting a country and eating local. And last night I was invited by ITC Grand Central, Mumbai to a five-course dinner by Chef Carmelo Floridia, which gave me a chance of tasting some Sicilian cuisine, paired with some lovely wines from the region. Wine & conversation flowed at the hotel's Terrace Garden, an open-air venue, on a pleasantly cool Mumbai evening. 

So how about an Italian recipe today? I have found that many readers have been coming to this web site searching for “Italian recipes for pasta” on Google. So here’s a healthy take on Penne Alfredo. This is also in keeping with my promise of posting more vegetarian recipes. You can replace the penne with any other short pasta shape for this recipe – fusilli, farfalle, macaroni etc. 

And if you absolutely must include some meat in it, I’d recommend bacon!

This recipe serves two people, as a main dish.

You’ll need:
  • 250g Pasta (I generally use Barilla)
  • 200g Mushrooms (button or Portobello variety; I’ve used the latter in this recipe)
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 50ml warm Milk (adjust as per thickness of sauce)
  • 1tsp Dried Mixed herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme etc.)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1tsp Butter
  • Fresh Basil
  • A bit of Parmigiano cheese for garnish
How to:
  • Start by boiling enough water as per the pasta packet instructions.
  • Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and chop them.
  • Heat a non-stick pan or skillet on a high flame and add 2tbsp olive oil. Toss in the mushrooms and sauté till done. Make sure that the pan is very hot before you add the mushrooms, so that they cook quickly and don’t ‘sweat’.
  • Add some salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Start cooking the pasta at this point.
  • In the hot pan toss around the garlic so that it releases its aroma. Add 1tbsp olive oil and butter.
  • Add in the flour and mix well. Keep stirring and do not let it become brown.
  • Quickly add the milk and stir so that no lumps are formed. Cook the sauce on a low flame. If it thickens too much add some more milk.
  • Once the sauce is cooked, add the sautéed mushrooms. Check the seasonings and adjust.
  • Also add the dried herbs and mix well. Tear a few basil leaves and add to the sauce.
  • Once the pasta is cooked al dente, mix in with sauce.
  • Before serving, garnish with some grated parmigiano and a sprig of basil.
  • Buon appetito! 


  1. Oh yumm! I think I am gonna try this tonight but without the mushrooms. :)

  2. yummy n delicious...frst time here..love ur space ...hapi to follow u ..glad if u do d same...