Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara - KMSP-TV

IN THE KITCHEN: Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara

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One of the fun things about traveling is trying the foods of the local culture. However…we can also make some of those healthy international food options here at home. Dr. Kiran Pandey from Regions Hospital joins Tom in the kitchen to try some heart healthy vegetarian recipes with an international flavor.

Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara Recipe


• 3 quarts water

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 pound (1-inch) diagonally cut trimmed asparagus

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

• 2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1 large egg

• 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta

• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves


• 1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.

• 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus; sauté 3 1/2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 6 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.

• 3. Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

• 4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and toss pasta immediately with egg mixture. Add tomato mixture, tossing until sauce thickens. Divide pasta equally among 4 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon basil. Serve immediately.

Malai Kofta is a classic North Indian dish originated from the Mughlai cuisine. Malai refers to the cream and koftas are deep fried paneer (cheese) and vegetable dumplings in rich and creamy tomato gravy.

Kofta Ingredients

Yields -11 koftas

Potato -2 or 1/2 cup boiled and mashed

Mixed vegetables - 1/2 cup (carrot, beans,peas)

Paneer/ cottage cheese - 1/2 cup

Green chillies -1 finely chopped

Coriander powder -2 tsp

Cumin powder -1 tsp

Red chilli powder -3/4 tsp

Cashew nuts -1 tbsp (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp finely chopped

Cornflour - 3/4 tsp

Salt as needed

Cornflour for rolling the koftas

Vegetable oil for frying koftas

Kofta Preparation

Boil vegetables or pressure cook vegetables for 2 whistles. I kept beans, carrot and peas in a vessel without water, closed it with a lid and kept potatoes on top and pressure cooked for 2 whistles. In this method there is less moisture in the vegetables. (Don't forget to add water in the pressure cooker).Whichever method you follow, put the vegetables in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all excess water. You can use that water for the gravy later. Drain the water from the potatoes immediately after cooking. Grate paneer and keep it ready.

In a bowl, mix together grated paneer, mashed potatoes, vegetables, finely chopped green chillies, coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, finely chopped coriander leaves, chopped nuts, 3/4 tsp cornflour and salt needed. Mix well.

Divide the mixture equally and make balls. Roll the balls in cornflour. This is done to absorb any moisture left.

Heat oil and fry the koftas in batches in medium heat until golden brown.

Remove from oil and drain them on a paper towel. Now the koftas are ready. Set aside.

Ingredients needed for the gravy

Oil -1 tbsp

Onion -1 big

Ginger-garlic paste -1 tsp

Tomatoes -3

Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp

Cumin powder/jeera powder -1 tsp

Coriander powder - 2tsp

Red chilli powder - 3/4 tsp

Salt as needed

Half & half -1/4 cup

Cashew nut - 1 tbsp coarsely powdered

Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp

Oil - 1 tbsp

Shah jeera/Caraway Seeds -3/4 tsp

To prepare the gravy

Heat a tbsp of oil, fry chopped onions until golden brown. Add salt to speed up the process. Saute continuously for even browning.

Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a few more minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and cook until tomatoes become mushy. Do not add water. If it is too dry, add just 1 or 2 tbsp of water. Allow it to cool. Add salt required. (remember we already added salt to the onions)

Once it cools, blend it to a fine paste.

Now heat oil in a kadai again, add shah jeera, when it splutters, add the ground paste and cook for a few minutes.

Add 1 cup of water, cream, cashew nut powder and bring it to boil in low flame.

Add the koftas gently and switch off the flame.(add koftas only at the time of serving)

Sprinkle garam masala and finely chopped coriander leaves.

Shepherd's Salad Recipe

1/2 cup cucumber, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cubanelle pepper

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/4 cup fresh mint

2 tsp lemon juice

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

50 ml feta cheese, crumbled



Place all the vegetables in a medium size salad bowl. Add salt and pepper to liking. Add the feta, lemon juice and olive oil. Don't add any other dressings.

Some suggested vegetables: Broccolini, white, green, orange and purple cauliflower, radishes (red, black, watermelon and Easter varieties), asparagus, celery, carrots, assorted bell peppers, snap peas, haricot vert, English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc.

Kopanisti Dip Recipe (served in the cabbage bowl of the Crudités Platter)

3/4 lb feta cheese, drained and cubed

6oz roasted red peppers, drained

1 cup mint leaves

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tbs pickled hot peppers (I prefer Mama Lil's pickled spicy goat horn peppers)

3 small cloves garlic

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

In the bowl of a food processor or the jar of a blender, puree these ingredients together until well combined.

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