By | October 26, 2017

~ Cheese Baked Pumpkin Fusilli ~

Pasta has become an increasingly common food amongst many in Asia despite the fact that it is of an Italian origin. It is most kids favourite as it is easy to eat and flavourful when cooked with a good combination of ingredients, particularly cheese. Many families can enjoy pasta dishes, thanks to the vast variety of pasta recipes readily available for share on the social media. Otherwise, pastas are an extremely common item in menus at many restaurants out there. As pasta has been my family’s favourite too, authentic pasta at restaurants may break the bank! (*grin*). So, I make them from home at least once if not twice a week.

Most if not all of us have been cooking pastas using the classic method. I have always wished to avoid having to bring a huge pot of water to boil and then boil the pasta for however long that the packets suggest. Hence, I did an experiment on a pasta recipe inspired by Dr. Doris Kreuter from the AMC Research & Development Institute in Switzerland and discovered cooking & baking pasta in one pot, with the AMC Secuquick Softline Lid, where all sauces and ingredients are cooked together, on a 1 minute “Soft” setting. It was an awesome discovery until I discovered another cooking method when pasta is cooked, just like the Asian steamed rice way with the new AMC Easy Quick Lid launched this year.

With the classic method in pasta cooking, I experienced boil over when the pasta added generates steam pressure within the pot with lid on. Unless I keep a watchful eye, lift the lid in time and leave it uncovered or partially covered to let the steam pressure escape from the Pot unit, I ended up having to clean my cooker after cooking is done. Some “cooking experts” suggest to lower the heat source to avoid boil over and let simmer under low heat, stirring the pasta and some suggest to apply the wooden spoon trick. I admit that I am just not very good at controlling heat source and these methods are too manual for a lazy person like me (*embarrassing*). Also, I do not agree with the idea of letting it simmer under low heat which is a more environmentally unfriendly method as it takes a longer time to simmer pasta with low heat too.

In this recipe, I tried cooking pasta just like the Asian rice cooking method. This is a cooking experiment with the new AMC Easy Quick Lid in combination with an AMC Navigenio. In the findings, I need not be on stand-by to ensure I lift the pot lid in time. I do not need to remove or cover the lid partially and lower the heat source. Neither do I stir the pasta nor use the wooden spoon trick. When the AMC Easy Quick Lid sealed properly to the Pot unit and Navigenio turned on with the automatic, “A” mode, heat control is done fully automatically while temperature retained at the range of 97°C to 99°C to boil and cook this pasta recipe within minutes. The new lid is designed and made with a steam valve and a sealing ring attached to allow air and emerging steam to escape from the pot in a controlled manner during the cooking process. Thus, there is no strong pressure from within the tightly sealed pot forcing the lid to move vigorously, resulting in boil over.

I used smaller in diameter Pot unit, the AMC 20cm 4.0 litre Pot unit, to cook pasta of a smaller portion. A bigger diameter Pot unit, the AMC 24cm 5.0 litre Pot unit will be put to task for a bigger pasta portion.  All I have to do is to fill up just enough water covering the pasta and seal Pot unit tightly with the AMC Easy Quick Lid and let the AMC Navigenio handles the cooking fully automatically throughout the cooking process. The best part is there is no straining required when pasta is cooked as there will not be excess water left in the pot when the proportion of pasta and water are adequately measured. This has been such an amazing cooking evolution I embarked on. The AMC Premium Cooking System does not just enable all cooking to be done healthily for my family but in the most convenient manner for me. How about yours?

Cheese Baked Pumpkin Fusilli Recipe (Serves 3) :

  1. 240 grams Organic Durum Wheat Semolina Fusilli
  2. 1 small Pumpkin, deskinned & cubed (I used village-grown Japanese pumpkin approximately 500grams)
  3. 1 medium Red Onion, diced
  4. 300 ml or 1 1/2 cup Water or Vegetable Stock
  5. 1 tablespoon Butter
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  8. 250 grams Cheddar Cheese, shredded

AMC Healthy Cooking Method :

A. Cooking Pasta with Easy Quick Lid

  1. Add diced red onion to an AMC 24cm 5.0 litre Pot unit. Cover Pot unit with the Easy Quick lid. Preheat the Pot Unit on Navigenio with heat level “4” up to 50°C or “Meat Window”. Switch on Audiotherm indicating “Meat Window” for readiness indication.
  2. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Audiotherm. Continue with heat level “3”, add butter, add pumpkin to Pot unit and gently sauté for about 1 minute.
  3. Make a well in the middle of Pot unit and pour in the Fusilli. Add water and salt. Cover Pot unit with the Easy Quick lid. Switch on Navigenio to automatic, “A”, mode. Turn on Audiotherm, place on knob, indicating 97°C or “Steam Window” and set to cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and gently stir all ingredients.
  5. Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on knob, indicating 97°C or “Steam Window” and set to cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. As Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm.

B. Baking Pasta with Over-turned Navigenio

  1. Spread shredded cheddar cheese evenly on top of the cooked pumpkin pasta in the Pot unit.
  2. Cover Pot unit with an over-turned Navigenio to brown for 8 minutes on high heat “=”.
  3. As Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. Dish out and serve hot.

Tips :

1. Depending on the type of pasta and each individual’s preference on texture, the proportion of water to pasta and cooking time may vary.

2. Different types of cheese may require shorter or longer time to brown. As a general guide, I set longer time (between 8 to 10 minutes) when I am using Yellow Cheddar or Mozarella cheese and shorter time (between 3 to 5 minutes) when I add Guyere cheese to brown on high heat “=”.

Hence, it is worth doing some experiment and record your findings for many more years of cooking reference in your private kitchen!

(Ps. No photos of food before cooking as I am travelling and not equipped with my usual gear . So, the usual mind was not functioning as complete. 😂 My apologies…)

Cook twice automatically, i.e. 8 minutes followed by another 3 minutes. After cooking automatically for 8 minutes, remove lid to gently stir & mix all ingredients before cooking automatically for another 3 minutes. This cooking process ensures even pasta texture.

One pot cooked and baked pumpkin fusilli.

Dish out and serve hot. Ensure a generous portion of the pumpkin for everyone. They make a difference!

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