If you thought methi was only good for parathas, think again! Methi is versatile and great in lots of recipes.
Full of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants, this slightly bitter plant prevents indigestion, colds and even prevents hair loss!
We tried methi with an Italian style pasta dish, tempering the bitterness of the methi with sweet tomatoes and a generous helping of homemade ricotta cheese. For those who avoid dairy, the sauce is just as lovely without the cheese.
A Note on Homemade Pasta: This is a slightly labor-intensive process but straightforward and simple. It takes about the same amount of time as making rotis and if you are an expert roti maker, this will be easy. You can choose to use store bought pasta, but fresh homemade pasta is really delicious.
Ingredients for the Bow Tie Pasta Linguine Pasta:
1 cup Karmyogi Ashram Hamirpur UP Whole Meal Red Wheat flour
Water to make a stiff dough
A little oil (we used olive)
Ingredients for the Ricotta Cheese:
½ litre milk
A spoonful of curd
Ingredients for the Methi-Tomato Sauce
1 cup methi leaves
2 onions thinly sliced
4 cloves chopped garlic plus 1 stalk green garlic chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon milk
To make the pasta:
- Boiling salted water in a deep pan.
- Make a mountain of the flour on a plate.
- Make a little crater on top, and pour a little water into it. Start stirring with a fork, and then switch to kneading with hands.
- Keep adding water as needed and continue kneading until you have a stiff dough.
- Roll out the pasta as thinly as possible. Cut into strips for linguine. To make bow tie pasta, cut into small rectangles, and pinch the middle to make the bow tie shape.
- Add oil to the boiling water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Put about a handful of pasta in the water at a time. Fresh pasta only takes about 1-3 minutes to cook. When the pasta rises to the top of the water, it is ready.
To make the ricotta cheese:
The Ricotta was actually the result of a failed attempt to make yogurt. After trying to set yogurt at night, we noticed in the morning that the milk had just separated into curds and whey. Straining the curds through a cloth for a few hours gave us this delicious soft cheese.
To make the dish:
- Start by caramelizing the onions, cooking them on very low heat until they turn a light brown color and taste sweet. Putting a little salt in the beginning helps the onions start to sweat and cook gently. You can also choose to make this oil-less, but we added a bit of olive oil to the pan.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add in the tomatoes.
- When the tomatoes have cooked down a bit, add in the methi and green garlic, sugar or honey and any other seasonings. Cutting methi is a little bit of pain, so we cheated and used clean scissors to snip the leaves off.
- Take off the stove when the methi is cooked. Let it cool for approximately ten minutes and add in the cheese and milk.
Note: You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the cheese and milk. We promise it tastes just as good, and really brings out the taste of the methi. We love the idea of using methi in different cuisines. Who knows, maybe the Italians will start importing methi from India! Hope you enjoyed the recipe, please let us know how it turned out when you try it at home!
I Say Organic. I Say Delicious! What Do You Say? Tell us in the comments.