Most of the time my mom cooks for me but this time in India, I got her to taste some of my successful experiments in the kitchen. She was eager to taste some pasta and voila, I was all geared up to make some fresh pasta sauce for her with whatever ingredients that were available at hand and served it over farfalle. I love the shape of this pasta. You can use whole grain pasta as well. I used cilantro since we didn’t have basil at home, however, it is definitely worth a try! 🙂

Ingredients (4-5 servings)

2.5 cup farfalle pasta

1 onion, diced finely

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

1 cube of cheese/ 4-5 tbsp of grated cheese

4 tomatoes, pureed

½ tsp Herbes de Provence/mixed dried herbs

½ tsp red chili powder

¼ tsp ground pepper

2 tsp sugar

Basil or cilantro for garnish

Salt as needed


  1. Heat about 8 cups of water in a stock pot. When the water begins to boil, add the pasta and cook it till al dente It may take around 12-15 minutes or see instructions on packet.
  2. While your pasta is cooking, let us prepare the sauce. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add minced garlic and finely diced onion and chopped cilantro. Let the onion cook on low heat till it become golden.
  3. Then add the tomato puree, salt, pepper, red chili powder, sugar and herbs. Mix well and let the tomato puree cook on low heat till the oil begins to separate.
  4. Add grated cheese and mix well. Keep some grated cheese aside for garnishing.
  5. By now, the pasta should be ready; so strain the pasta in a colander. Toss the pasta a bit to drain well. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
  6. Now, pour the sauce over the pasta and garnish with grated cheese and chopped basil or cilantro. Serve it with a generous side of sautéed mushrooms or broccoli or Brussel sprouts or mixed vegetables.


You can use the same recipe for spaghetti or penne or any other pasta of your choice.


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