As the pasta and risotto fest at hotel Golkonda continues, brush up your Italian cooking skills

So how do you like your pasta? Spicy? But that’s not how Italians eat their pasta, informs Anurudh Kumar Gupta, Executive Chef, The Golkonda Hotel. Anurudh is hosting the pasta and risotto fest at the hotel and is having guests literally eating out of his hands. “I am personally looking into every order because Italian food is close to my heart. During my stint in Delhi with The Radisson, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best travelling Italian chefs,” he says.

The pasta and risotto fest at the hotel has kept the menu simple and non cumbersome for diners to choose. Beside the usual spaghetti and penne there are the fettuccine, penne rigatone, linguini, cannelloni, lasagne, strozzapreti, forfalle and home made ravioli. To make the dining experience a wholesome one, chef planned on a whole range of sauces for the pastas to go with. Keeping in mind the spice consumption, chef decided on a spicy arrabiatta. There is Pomodoro with elephant garlic and basil pesto for those who love the pesto sauce. “The other much preferred choices of sauce are Bolognaise, Carbonara, chicken, mushroom and cherry tomatoes and Alfredo mushroom,” he said.

Chef says that Indian homes are now by and large adopting Italian cooking for a change “and with varieties of pastas available along with the sauces, Italian cooking at home is all the more convenient. To get the perfect pasta dish, we must not boil the pasta with oil. Pasta should be boiled in plain salt water. It should be later drizzled with olive oil to avoid the pasta from sticking to each other,” he recommends.

As regards to getting the perfect texture for the risotto rice, chef advices that the risotto rice be boiled first in a non stick pan with onions, shallots, carrots or vegetables of your choice and then vegetable stock to be added to further cook the rice. Chef says, “Recipe books overlook the broiling process and as a result we sometimes don’t get the desired texture. The mushroom and plain cheese risotto on our fest menu is a must try.”

Chef Anurudh shares two recipes.

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

Arborio rice: 150 gm

Onion chopped: 25 gm

Garlic chopped: 10 gm

Celery stick chopped: 15 gm

Button mushroom slices: 250 gm

Butter unsalted: 50 gm

Single Cream: 100 ml

Parmesan cheese: 100 gm

Vegetable stock: 400 ml

Olive oil: 30 ml

Salt to taste

Fresh thyme: 2 gm

Parsley sprig: 2 gm

Method

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the chopped Onion, garlic and Celery . Sweat then along with fresh thyme leaves. Add the Arborio rice and broiled the rice for good 4-6 minutes on a gentle flame so that all the starch on the outer side is cooked. Top the rice with vegetable stock and allow it to simmer in a medium slow flame so that the inside part of the rice is cooked. Season the rice and allow it to simmer and then cover the dish with a lid. Take another pan and flash a piece of butter. Add the slices of mushroom and allow it cooked so that all the water is evaporated and the slices are cooked. Season the mushroom with salt. Finish the risotto with cream and stir the rice with wooden spatula so that the rice is not mashed. Add a cube of butter and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve it hot in a Pasta bowl garnished with Parsley sprig and Parmesan shavings.

Penne Arabiata

Ingredients

Penne pasta: 150 gm

Olive oil: 30 ml

Fresh tomatoes: 300 gm

Fresh garlic chopped: 5 cloves

Fresh basil leaves: 2 sprig

Fresh crushed chili flakes: 1 gm

Freshly ground black pepper: 1 gm

Salt to taste

Butter unsalted: 30 gm

Parmesan cheese: 50 gm

Parsley sprig: 2 nos

Method

Heat water in a pan and then add Penne pasta into the pan. Allow the water to boil so that the pasta is cooked Al dent e. Strain the water from the pan and then add few dashes of oil so that the cooked pasta does not stick to each other. Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic in the pan and allow it saute on a medium flame. Add Chili flakes and fresh basil into the pan and allow it to infuse the flavour into the pan. Add chopped tomatoes and allow it to cook so that the tomatoes are cooked and soft. Season the sauce with salt and then add a cube of butter into the sauce. Add the boiled pasta into the sauce and toss the pasta till the sauce is coated with the pasta and check for seasoning. Finish the pasta with grated Parmesan cheese and serve it hot in a pasta bowl. Garnish the Pasta dish with Parmesan Shavings and Sprig of Parsley. Serve it hot.

More In: Metroplus | Features | Food