• 450 gm or 1 lb pasta (penne rigate)
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• ½ Tsp yellow asafetida powder
• ¾ Tsp dried basil
• ¾ Tsp dried oregano
• 1 red bell pepper chopped finely
• 2½ C tomato puree
• 1½ Tsp salt
• 1 Tsp sugar
• ¼ Tsp ground black pepper
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 2 zucchinis, diced in 1.5 cm cubes
• 1 green bell pepper, diced in 1.5 cm cubes
• 1 C olives cut in halves
• ½ C chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1 C grated mozzarella cheese
1. Cook the pasta in water according to the directions given in the packet. Drain the pasta and keep aside.
2. For the tomato sauce: heat 1 tsp of oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Sprinkle ¼ Tsp asafetida, the basil, oregano and red bell peppers. Saute for a minute. Pour the tomato puree; add the 1 Tsp salt, sugar and black pepper. Cook partially covered over low heat for 15 minutes.
3. For stir-fry the vegetables: heat the remaining oil in a sauté pan over moderate heat, sprinkle the remaining asafetida. Add all the vegetables and mix well. Cook until tender.
4. Assemble and bake: In a mixing bowl, combine the pasta, tomato sauce and the stir fried vegetables. Transfer the combined pasta dish to a greased 9x13x2-inch baking pan, sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F/180 C for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
By Anand Lila Devi Dasi