Saturday, August 24, 2013

Give Peas A Chance- Thai Curry One Pot Wonder

SO many one pot pasta meals floating across the bloggosphere. I thought I'd try my hand at it. I tracked down what seems to be where all the inspiration has been coming from. Martha Stewart One Pan Pasta, from that I got an idea of what the water to pasta ratio should be. After, I went my own way, after all cooking is an art, all you need is the method really. Most of the time even method's can be tweaked. I decided on a Thai Curry inspired flavors dish because I have 5 jars of homemade Red Sauce (no meat, I freeze that separately) in the freezer. I'm Red Sauced out. I also had a leftover chicken breast to use up.
I love fresh flavors, raw vegetables, vibrant colors, and different textures. So I purposely didn't cook a lot of the vegetables in with the pasta. This works out well because they don't get mushy, the color is vibrant, there is texture, and vegetables and be prepped while the pasta is cooking.
You only need one pot for this, I use my 5 quart dutch oven. The pasta cooks, soaking in the water and flavors around it, making the sauce. Makes sense right? We save pasta water when making sauces and add it in when needed. It's starchy, and salted. Perfect really for thinning out a sauce or making sauce.
I've made this with linguini and fettuccine. Both regular pastas. Not whole wheat, not rice, not soba. I haven't tested water ratio on any of those. BUT I will say, this can easily be adjusted for rice noodles. Fresh or dry. My mom makes a dish called Khao Poon Kalee (a curry rice noodle) it's so good.
To jump to the recipe, scroll past the pictures.

Throw everything in the pot! Doesn't look like much does it? Remember to stir it while cooking.

Remove ginger, lemongrass, kaffir leaves (if using). Add more broth or water as needed. Season and toss with vegetables.
I love fresh jalapenos on top of mine!
Some of my dried Kaffir leaves.

Give Peas A Chance Thai Curry Inspired One Pot Wonder

Into the pot-
1 box of pasta, fettuccine or linguine
4 cups of broth or water
1 can (about 15 ounces coconut milk)
1-3 tbsp of red curry paste (Make your own or use Thai Kitchen's)
1-2 tbls sunbutter 
3 kaffir leaves*
4 inch piece of lemongrass *
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 inches of ginger peeled and cut into slices
1/2 white onion sliced
4 ounces mushrooms, cubed 

After the pasta is cooked-
1-2 tbls fish sauce/ Nam Pla
Juice from 1 lime
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded*
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Choose some veggies to toss in-
1 Carrot peeled, julienne
1/2 red bell peppers, sliced thinly
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Snow peas- julienne
Sugar Snap Peas- julienne
1 can of baby corn, rinsed and drained
1 thinly sliced jalapeno

  1. Put the pasta into a pot, with all the into the pot ingredients. (Start with less curry paste and nut butter, you can add the rest after you taste it when it's cooked.)
  2. Bring everything to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set the timer for about 12 minutes and turn the heat to medium.
  4. Let it cook and absorb the liquid.
  5. Stir occasionally so the pasta doesn't stick together. 
  6. Add water or broth if pasta is not al dente or the pasta is too dry and there's no "sauce". You want some sauce to coat all the vegetables you'll be adding. Keep in mind that the pasta continues to absorb the liquid even if the heat is turned off.
  7. Once pasta has absorbed most of the water turn off the stove.
  8. Taste and check to see if you need more curry paste. 
  9. Stir in fish sauce to taste (1-2 tables ish) OR use salt if you don't like fish sauce.
  10. Add 1/2 to all of the lime juice to taste.
  11. Discard kaffir leaves, lemongrass, and ginger pieces. 
  12. Stir in the chicken.
  13. Toss in some vegetables.
  14. Add the cilantro and basil (see note below).
  15. Serve with lime wedges and sriracha, pickled jalapenos, or Thai chili powder.

-No Kaffir leaves? Take a peeler or zester and zest a lime. Leave as much of the white as you can behind. Use the green zest. If the lime zest is in small pieces you don't need to discard it after cooking.
- Creamy, natural peanut butter can be used instead of Sunbutter also.
- Stir the pasta well, any clumps of pasta will not cook through. Ask me how I know.
- If you don't eat meat, or don't have chicken leave it out. Grilled pork, steak strips, tofu, shrimp, whatever you like can also be stirred in. Even strips of scrambled egg.
-If you have extra lemongrass, ginger, or kaffir leaves they can be put in the dehydrator or freezer. Cut the ginger into rounds first.
- 1/4 cup chiffonade Holy Basil  is great in this also, add it when you toss in the vegetables. If you have Italian Basil, you can use that instead of the Holy Basil.
- If you don't think you will finish this whole pot add only enough fresh vegetables to part of the noodles. That way you aren't warming up fresh vegetables and herb later.

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