Mamta's Kitchen

Vegetable Pasta, A Quick Meal in One

Vegetable Pasta, A Quick Meal in One

Bakari Notti

Note from Mamta: This simple lunch dish comes from a camp kitchen in Tarangire National park in Tanzania, where we stayed for three nights in the summer of 2011. The food was always great, Bakari was a great chef! He rustled this up for us one day, when we arrived at the camp early and unexpectedly for lunch. I watched his simple efficiency, working from whatever he had around.

This is such a simple dish that even a child can make it. if you wish, you can add a little precooked and chopped meat like ham, chicken, lamb or tuna to it.

Serves 3-4


  • 250 gm. Hollow/tubular, twisted, or curved dry pasta

  • 2 tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, sliced thickly

  • 1 tsp. chopped/grated ginger root

  • 2- garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or grated

  • 1- 1 1/2 cup prepared (small dice) vegetables of choice, like carrots, red/green capsicum (bell pepper), courgettes/zucchini, small broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms. I sometimes add frozen mixed vegetables.

  • 1 cup cherry or chopped tomato, if you have any

  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree (optional)

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

  • 1 level teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

  • A handful of basil leaves or a herb of choice

  • Freshly grated parmesan to serve (optional)


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet. It should be al dente, slightly undercooked, not mushy.

  2. Wash in cold water, to stop it cooking any further.

  3. Heat oil in pan. Add onions, ginger and garlic and fry on low medium heat, until soft, around10 minutes.

  4. Add prepared vegetables, except tomatoes, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and cook stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes. Vegetables should retain crispness, should not become mushy.

  5. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, stir-fry for a minute or two.

  6. Adjust seasoning.

  7. Add and basil/other heras and mix.

  8. Serve hot, with a grating of fresh parmesan cheese on top.

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