My husband’s office café has a chef exhibition area where different kinds of food are made each day. One of those days is the pasta day. In case I am in the vicinity I drop by those days to have lunch together. I love the Molto Bene Penne which in Italian means “very good penne”. Based on the taste I tried re-creating it at home and this comes pretty close.
- 1 cup penne pasta cooked according to the package direction
- 1/2 cup chicken keema (minced meat)
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. chopped red onion
- 4 small tomatoes cut into halves
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 2 tbsp. chopped green onion
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp. chili flakes
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds (mouri/sauf )
- 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. butter
Heat butter in a pan and let it melt. Add crushed fennel seeds and minced garlic. Sauté on low heat till you get a nice aroma. Add chopped onion and fry till it turns translucent. Add minced meat to it and fry on medium heat till its cooked. Add peas, tomato halves and fry lightly along with it. Turn off the heat.
In another pan melt 1 tbsp. butter and add 2 tbsp. flour. Sauté on low heat for about a minute. Pour milk and cream and mix them well. Let it simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes till it has reduced by about quarter and starts to thicken. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from sticking.
Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper powder.
Add the meat mixture to this sauce and mix well. Keep aside.
How to serve
Transfer boiled penne in a serving bowl and pour 2 – 3 ladleful of sauce over it. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro and chili flakes.