Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Scientific Pasta

My Mom made this quick and tasty pasta quite often in India. At the time, the only pasta shapes available in India were spaghetti and macaroni so it would be either of those two, with good ol' processed Amul cheese. It was mmm...mmm...good.

I was in the supermarket a few days ago and started laughing when I found a Barilla pasta shape called Pipette. Pipette means "little pipe" but of course that's not why I laughed. It is because I work in a research lab and we use instruments called pipettes day in and day out to transfer liquids around. Our pipettes look nothing like the little pasta though!

I thought it would be fun to try this scientific-sounding pasta tonight, when I need dinner ready in a hurry. The recipe calls for a basic bechamel sauce to be made separately and added to sauteed peppers but I am too lazy to wash too many pots and adapted the sauce recipe for a single pan.

  • First, a pot of water was put to boil for the pasta, salted and the pipette pasta was boiled till just tender. 
  • Meanwhile as the pasta was cooking, I made the sauce by melting 2 tbsp butter in a pan and sauteeing a diced green pepper in it. 
  • Then I added 1 heaped tbsp white flour and stirred it around till it was aromatic. 
  • I added a cup of milk, dash of salt and pepper, dash of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and stirred everything into a nice smooth sauce. 
  • I finished the sauce with a cup of tomato puree and 1 tbsp cream
  • Finally I stirred the drained cooked pasta into the sauce and topped with more cheese and pepper.

The hollow pipettes catch the creamy sauce perfectly. It is a mild and comforting pasta that is ready in a jiffy. What more can one ask for on a Tuesday night ?


  1. hi nupur. that sure was quick, ready in a wink.
    utterly butterly amul,
    kabhi nahi sakte hain bhool.
    have fun !

  2. That looks yummy Nupur. No cheese seems to taste as good as Amul when you eat them in cubes. Wonder what they put in it. Have you tasted the new Brittania cheese slices? They are no way near Amul though.

  3. I agree, for a plain cheese Amul truly rocks!

    Your pipette pasta looks delectable but being on something of a diet I'll enjoy from afar!!!!

  4. In this heat, quick cooking is my favourite. The dish looks delicious Nupur

  5. Hey Yoma, Its true, Amul rocks!

    Hi Mika, I totally agree...Amul really revolutionized eating habits in India with their yummy cheese. Britannia sure comes nowhere close.

    Hi "30"...well, maybe you can give yourself an occasional treat with some cheesy pasta :)

    Hey Ana, Its true...its too hot to cook elaborate meals. I have been living on quick one-dish meals these days.

  6. Nupur,
    Loved the blog as always....

    To "30" - instead of whole milk, use 1% milk. And instead of cheddar cheese, tear up Kraft Fat Free Cheese slices (sharp cheddar). This will make things cheesy but lowfat.

    I make something like this - sauteeing frozen red,yellow, green peppers, broccoli, caulifower, peas and carrots along with dried basil and oregano. Then add them to the milk and cheese sauce.

    The tomato puree is a nice touch. Will try that out.


  7. Tee hee! I had the same reaction to pipette pasta and wondered if there were any beakers too. Silly me, hehehe!

    This is surely a quick and flavourful recipe, perfect for those cramming but hungry working days. Thanks for posting this!

  8. Hi Nupur,

    I tried this recipe last night, and it turned out really great.

    As a thirty something, I felt that I needed to go easy on the fat content, so I replaced the cheese with Cabots 50% cheddar, the cream with half and half, and the butter with Earth Balance- and I have to say, it still tasted pretty good.

    This recipe is definitely a keeper- thanks!



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