Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spinach bread and Pesto Pasta

Last week, Ahmedabad finally saw some rains...Its almost like a desert here, hot, real hot dry summers and the winters are short, but quite cold.
Monsoon is not an official season here, it cant be, because it lasts for about 2-3 days..Last year, it rained for a day, the entire day, but that was it...complete dry spell after that

The hot weather here is great for baking, only because the yeast comes up beautifully, otherwise, the entire house feels like an oven. Temperatures are around 41 C - 44 C, for at least 4 months in a year and it just doesnt seem to be the right time to bake anything

Spinach bread

This particular day, it was sunny, but there was a lovely breeze, I decided to put my yeast to test again, made this spinach and cheese bread. By evening, the winds were really strong and in the apartment I live in, you could hear eerie sounds of the wind go thru the columns...It started pouring and went on for about 3 hours

Made this pesto pasta to go with the bread, sat out in our balcony and enjoyed the lovely weather, while muching on the bread and pasta. S was back home early and the change in weather was really welcome. I think this was the first day that I enjoyed being here.


For the Pesto Pasta

What you need -

2 medium sized tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2 cups of pasta / spaghetti
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
2-3 tbsp milk

1 1/2 cup packed, cleaned and chopped coriander
1/2 cup walnuts
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper corns

What you do with it -

Grind together all the ingredients under Pesto to a smooth paste, without adding any water. Add more olive oil if required.
Add salt to water and bring to boil. Cook pasta in it as per instructions on the packet
Chop the garlic and tomatoes
Add a little olive oil in a pan and add then the garlic
Add in the pesto and stir, adding spoonfuls of milk
Add the pasta, salt and chilli flakes
Add tomatoes and turn off the heat
Add grated cheese over the pasta if you like

(You could substitute the coriander with spinach / basil)

Spinach Bread

This one is adapted from this wonderful book 'Baking' by Martha Day, which has well-explained simple steps to baking and great for a beginner like me
Skipped the bacon and use wheat flour instead of the AP flour

Sending this to Yeastspotting, hosted by Nick of imafoodblog this week

What you need -

4 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 onion
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 cups chopped spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup grated cheese

What you do with it -

Put water in a bowl, sprinkle yeast and add sugar
Mix and allow to proof for 10-15 mins
Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion
Add the chopped spinach to this and stir till the spinach is cooked and dry
In a large bowl, add the flour and salt
Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture
Add the onions and spinach and knead to make a soft dough, using a little more olive oil if required
Cover and keep aside for about an hour or till the dough has doubled
Grease a pan / loaf tin
Punch the dough down and knead lightly and transfer to the greased tin and allow to rise again for about 30 mins
Sprinkle the grated cheese over it
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F
Bake the loaf for 25-30 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool


SJ said...

"I think this was the first day that I enjoyed being here." I pray you have many many more days like this!!

Look at that bread all risen and looks just like khara bun types. Pasta and should have been my neighbour sigh...

Priya Narasimhan said...

Nice recipe..I have never made pesto at home. I will try your recipe.

Vanamala Hebbar said...

lovely recipe..

kittymatti said...

nice recipe dear!

Karine said...

I love your bread! It looks delish!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

looks perfect... enjoy the rains when you do get it - your description seemed heavenly...

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious..nice presentation too...!

Sushma Mallya said...

hi arch....loved ur blog...nice pictures and recipes...will try out some soon....thanks for visiting and for that lovely comment

Nithya said...

wow. pasta looks really yummm.... you hold a lovely blog dear. Like your collection. :)

Keep it going. Thanks for visiting my blog. Will be here often.

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Hi first time here the bread and pasta loooooooooks so delicious... you have wonderful recipes dear.. and saar is my fav this islooking so yummy.. keep rocking

Usha said...

The bread looks gorgeous and loved the combination of spinach bread and pesto pasta, yum !

SG said...

Nice blog. I thought the main ingredient in Pesto sause is basil. All others like coriander leaves, spinach, and parsley are substitutes or add-ons.

shilpa said...

Ihave tried pesto in coffee republic i am not a fan of it but will try yourreceipe thanks for posting dear

nick said...

I don't think I'd be able to bring myself to bake ever under those climate conditions. Kudos to you!

Mimi said...

You are brave to turn on the oven in that kind of weather!

The bread and pasta look so good! I bet they complimented eachother well.

Madam Chow said...

This looks delicious. I love pesto, and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my cooking, since I tend to have a lot of it around.

Nothings Aplenty said...

hi! i found your blog yesterday (blog-hopping i guess..)..and was super excited to see the spinach bread recipe.. In fact, i tried it last evening...and it came out great! yummy, and colourful with a great texture.

Thanks! :) will keep coming around for more delicious recipes.

meenakshi said...

i want to make spinach bread but please mention the size of loaf pan.


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