Daan Singh Sachdev proves that you don’t need to attend cooking school to master the culinary arts. He shares his favourite simple and easy to follow vegetarian recipe.
Cooking has always been something that I have loved. From a young age, I lived in a joint family with my grandparents and relatives, and I enjoyed watching my mom prepare food for 12 to 15 people, twice a day, for so many years. Every day was like a feast! Cooking has now become a form of escapism, for whenever I am angry or sad, I am in the kitchen.
As a vegetarian, I feel inspired and challenged at the same time. Some dishes I want to prepare require ingredients I cannot eat, so I try to recreate the meal by ﬁnding alternative varieties and ﬂavours. I have also never attended culinary school, so I use my taste buds and intuition to cook. Sometimes, my experiments work, while other times they don’t. I enjoy ﬁnding recipes on YouTube, reading cook books and watching cooking shows. But at the end, it is all about touch and feel to know when it is right.
“Cooking has now become a form of escapism, for whenever I am angry or sad, I am in the kitchen.”
PENNE PINK SAUCE
500 grammes of penne rigate
20 fresh medium-size tomatoes, chopped
2 red onions, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar A handful of basil leaves
1/2 cup of fresh cream
Fresh red chillies
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Parmigiano reggiano cheese
Method to prepare the pasta:
- Boil water and add a pinch of salt and oil.
- Throw in 500 grammes of penne rigate.
- Boil until al dente (ﬁ rm texture).
- Strain your pasta, while reserving half a cup of the water. Do not rinse it.
Method to prepare the sauce:
- Sauté the garlic and onion with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and sugar.
- After the onions and garlic turn golden brown, add chopped tomatoes and carrots.
- Stir and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
- Add balsamic vinegar and red chillies, according to preference.
- Using a food blender, add a handful of basil leaves and the sautéed vegetables you have just prepared. Blend together until a smooth texture appears.
- Strain the sauce into a pot to achieve a smooth and rich texture. Heat for about 20 minutes on a low ﬂ ame.
- Add fresh cream to the sauce and stir. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then add half a cup of the reserved pasta water.
- Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and freshly ground pepper according to taste.
- Add the al dente pasta into the sauce and mix well.
- Allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes, and then serve with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese. So simple and easy!