Tricolor Pasta - Where New York Meets Italy

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On the eve of the US Independence Day, my best friend and I shopped for some of my favourite things so we could surprise our family with a tricolor pasta dish. Italian happens to be my favourite cuisine, and I decided to use the Independence Day theme to highlight my patriotism for New York and love for Italy. For all of my regular readers, here is my secret recipe:-

Tricolor Pasta - Where New York Meets Italy


1. Del Monte penne rigate pasta - two fistfuls
2. Napolitana sauce - for the saffron (for New York) or red (for Italy) layer
3. Cream cheese - for the white layer
4. Pesto sauce - for the green layer
5. Olive oil
6. Mushrooms - button mushrooms (champignon de Paris) and US portobello
7. Olives
8. Broccoli
9. Bell peppers - red, yellow and green
10. Lemon and coriander seasoning
11. Salt to taste

Apparatus (Utensils Required)

1. Saucepan
2. Spatula
3. Colander
4. Laddle
5. Spoon
6. Cooking pot
7. A couple of bowls (to transfer the cooked dishes)
9. Knife
10. Wide bottomed tumbler (for plating up)
11. Dessert glasses (for plating up)

Here is all you will need - the Italian ingredients

Time to prepare

90 minutes

The entire dish took us only an hour and a half to make. This includes everything - from cutting the vegetables to plating up.

After the veggies and mushrooms are cleaned and cut...


1. Add some water and salt to the penne rigate pasta and bring it to a boil in a cooking pot.
2. Strain the pasta in a colander and collect the water. This shall be our broth for later. (We do not waste food) Keep both the boiled pasta and strained water aside.
3. Heat some live oil in a saucepan.
4. Chop the coloured bell peppers on the side.
5. Lightly stir the bell peppers (keep the green ones separate) in the pan.
6. Keep the bell peppers aside.
7. Wash the mushrooms and scrape off their skin. Now, cut them in halves or quarters depending on how big you like to have your mushrooms.
8. Saute the mushrooms in the pan. Add salt to taste. Take care not to mix the two types of mushrooms as each type will be used in a different layer of the pasta. You may use any mushroom of your choice - oyster, shiitake, shimeji, etc.
9. Set the mushrooms aside.
10. Now, cut out small florets of the broccoli and wash them in a colander.
11. Blanch the  broccoli florets to make them soft yet retain their dark colour.
12. Now, lightly saute them in the saucepan.

Now that all our individual mini-dishes are ready, we will start making the layers of the tricolour.

13. Take one third of the boiled pasta and cook it with the orange-red coloured Napolitana sauce. If you have more time, you may prepare your own tomato based gravy.
14. Add the red and yellow bell peppers to this layer, and sprinkle some lemon and coriander seasoning. Keep replenishing the olive oil in the pan. You may add some button mushrooms to this layer.
15. When the saffron layer is ready, pour it out in a bowl.

16. Next, prepare the green layer (bottom layer) with half of the remaining pasta and pesto sauce.
17. Add green bell peppers and some button mushrooms too.

18. For the white layer, add cream cheese generously to the saucepan full of the remaining pasta. You may control the consistency with milk and the broth which we had kept aside.
19. Add the portobello mushrooms to this mixture.
20. Pour out the white layer. This can be called the alfredo sauce layer.

This pasta dishes are now ready to be plated up! :-)

The US flag for your tastebuds

Serving Tips

1. I chose dessert glasses for my dish. Serve each coloured pasta in a separate glass Now you have orange, white and green dishes.
2. Make the Ashok chakra on the white layer  using olives.

India on my dining table! ;-)

3. I have an alternate plate up style - pour some green layer at the bottom of a wide glass tumbler.
4. Next pour the white layer.
5. Insert an olive slice towards the edge of the glass so that it is visible form the glass surface outside.
6. Fill the glass top with the orange layer, and you are all set!
7. You may choose to serve this with garlic bread.

Tricolor Pasta served in a glass tumbler

Let's have a quick recap through this video which I made only for you!

If you liked my recipe, do cook this Tricolor Pasta and tell me how it tastes. I'm eagerly waiting for your feedback! :-) 

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