Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Playing with Pasta: Spicy Thai Linguine

Every month, Meeta hosts an enjoyable event called the Monthly Mingle, where bloggers gather together for a potluck based on a theme. This is my entry to this month's event, which is based on the theme "Spring is in the Air". Here I am, celebrating the season's bounty.

In St. Louis, a frigid winter has finally given way to warmer weather that seems to be rushing headlong into summer. This can only mean one thing: time to hurry to the Farmer's market. In my few short months in this city, I have already fallen in love with Soulard Market. The Mississippi river which laps at the foot of St. Louis, bisects the USA, dividing the country into East and West and giving St. Louis the nickname Gateway to the West. Soulard Market is considered to be the oldest Farmer's Market west of the Mississippi, i.e., in the Western half of the United States.

A couple of days ago, my dear friend Cathy was visiting us for the weekend. Other people take their out-of-town visitors to local museums and monuments, but when two foodies get together, the logical thing to do is to head out to the local markets, and early on Saturday, we made a beeline for Soulard Market. The weather was warm and perfectly gorgeous, everyone was in a good mood, and the market was humming with activity. Next time, I'll get some pictures to show you all...this time I was too busy enjoying the company and soaking in the atmosphere to take the camera along.

Anyway, from the rows and rows and rows of colorful produce, I bought green beans and yellow peppers, asparagus, zucchini, mustard greens, and bags and bags of other fruits and vegetables. We also made a stop at the cutest pasta stand: Pappardelle's. This artisanal pasta company is from Denver, Colarado, but they have a year-round stall at Soulard market. They specialize in dried flat pasta with the most incredible flavors...such as orange-schezuan linguine, chipotle-pepper fettucine, and even a dark chocolate linguine! They also have dried flavored blends of pasta, including some really unusual fruit pasta flavors (raspberry penne, anyone?). Anyway, after much deliberation, I settled on the Spicy Thai Linguine.

Back home, I had to wonder, what was I going to do with this beautiful pasta? As luck would have it, my pantry was stocked with a can of coconut milk and a jar of Maesri Thai red curry paste, thanks to inspiration from Sandeepa's post. I put these ingredients together and came up with this dish, which was ready in minutes!

Spicy Thai Linguine


Thaifetu
(makes 3-4 servings)
1. Prep the veggies: You can use any assortment of vegetables that you have on hand. This is what I used. Clean and dice the following vegetables...1 large yellow pepper, 1 zucchini, 1 carrot. Finely chop 4-5 green onions (green and light green parts only).
2. Cook the pasta: Boil a large pot of water. When it comes to a rolling boil, salt generously and add 1/2 pound of linguine. Stir around and let the pasta cook for 7-9 minutes, or until al dente. Drain into a colander.
3. Make the sauce: While the water for the pasta is coming to a boil, start the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add the diced vegetables and stir-fry until barely tender. Now stir in 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk, 1 tsp red curry paste and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more curry paste if desired.
4. Assemble: Stir the cooked drained pasta into the sauce and toss well. Turn off the heat. Stir in 2 tbsp fresh lemon/ lime juice and the chopped green onions for garnish. Serve right away.

The verdict: Amazing, amazing. I can't even tell you how much we enjoyed every bite of this impromptu meal. The canned curry paste makes it all too easy, and the result is too creamy, colorful and flavorful for words.

Variations:
1. The spicy Thai linguine made this meal extra special, but I am sure that unflavored pasta that is much more readily available would be great too...just be sure to add a little more of the curry paste.
2. One could play around endlessly with this dish, adding different vegetables (green beans and pineapple is what I will try next), different curry pastes (green, yellow), different garnishes (fresh basil, cilantro) and other additions (fried baked tofu or mock chicken strips).

I'm going to pick up a different flavor of pasta from Soulard every time I visit, and keep experimenting with these wonderful flavors. Here is another one of their pastas that Karen tried...it looks sooo good!

Thank you, Meeta, for hosting this lovely event! I shall be back on Sunday, with the O of Indian Vegetables.

30 comments:

  1. I am nodding my head here when I read -what do two foodies do when they get together! In my stay in the US, i enjoyed visits to the public market more than those to any malls!
    Your assembly of the flavoured pasta with veggies and sauce, sounds delicious. I thought of O for Omelette, O for onions and O for Olan and then gave up...travelling from now till saturday so couldn't do a post, unless you'd consider my Oats for dinner post :)
    P has plenty of options, so will come up with something.
    You're putting in so much effort on SUndays that its not funny. A hug for you :)

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  2. hey nupur ..I have never been to soulard farmers market .Need to visit it soon .The recipe looks great and simple .

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  3. That looks so yummy and easy to make to. I'm definitely going to give it a try soon :)

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  4. what a great and fun friend you are, nupur. and what a wonderful entry to the MM.

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  5. How fun it would have been to run into you! Hope you found the asparagus!! I came home with mustard greens too, inspired by you!

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  6. Nupur, the pasta looks fantastic!
    I'm waiting for a chance to get back to the market!

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  7. I love the colors .. It looks soo fresh and lovely ..

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  8. Hay that pasta looks YUM! YUM! YUM!...Its mouth watering....

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  9. Love, love LOVE this! Such a wonderful mix of incredible flavors. I love spending my time at the Farmer's Market too. Next time I'm around your way you need to take me there too!

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  10. That is a fun thing to do. Market in the spring would be so colorful with new fresh fruits and veggies.

    Pasta looks yummo!

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  11. Nandita, would love to include your oats dish in the O round-up...just say the word!

    Deepa, Soulard is just wonderful...hope you get a chance to go there soon.

    Emmy, let me know if you do try it!

    Bee, treating my friends as guinea pigs to experiment on :) I don't know about being a good friend :)

    Alanna, what did you make with the mustard greens?? I made some risotto with the asparagus, with some lemon and creme fraiche :)

    Karen, I know, I can't wait to go there soon too!

    Ayesha, thanks :) The taste of fresh veggies is so exquisite!

    Sukanya, thanks :) We did lick the bowl :)

    Meeta, do please visit! I'll take you to Soulard and all the other foodie haunts around here!

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  12. There is nothing more fun than going food shopping with someone who really loves food, and buying all sorts of wonderful treats (the kind you only buy when you are with a friend and "in the mood"), and coming home and cooking together. Spicy pasta? Fabulous!

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  13. that pic looks cool
    never cooked pasta by myself :(
    btw i always tried to contribute to ur series. how do i do it?

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  14. Reena, the market was truly a beautiful sea of color!

    Lydia, how very true! It is even more fulfilling even the experimental dish that you throw together actually tastes good :) I am so enjoying your current pasta series!

    Anusharaji, Pasta is actually quite easy to cook, and very versatile...hope you get a chance to try it sometime.
    About the series, make a dish with the current letter (this week, it is "O"), then mail me the link. It is that simple. If you do not have a blog, simply mail me the recipe, and a picture if you have it.

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  15. The pasta looks positively yummy!
    -TC

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  16. What a brilliant idea this was Nupur! I couldn't believe how such a simple mixture of coconut milk and curry paste could become such an incredible pasta sauce! And for all you One Hot Stove readers - make this now, it is just amazing!

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  17. Thanks for considering for O round up...shall link up now!
    Cheers

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  18. delicious i just love the noodles with coconut sauce!

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  19. Hello!

    I am thinking of starting a new portal to host simple and easy-to-prepare recipes. This is mainly for bachelors/bachelorettes who may not have the time and the necessary utensils to prepare anything elaborate.

    Please do contribute. For more details, I have made a post on this at:

    http://cookingandme.blogspot.com/2007/05/portal-for-simple-cooking.html

    Err.. does this comment look like spam? :O It really is not! Also, tell me what you think about the idea and better ideas of how I can go about this, if any.

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  20. Thats a clever idea Nupur. Serving Thai curry with pasta instead of rice. An escape from the usual marinara.

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  21. Yummy! i enjoy spicy pastas and desify them often, i will try your recipe to make it with Thai curry also. Great recipe, dear. And yes, i am so in love with the Farmer's Markets.

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  22. Waou!!! I love pasta thai. It's very good

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  23. Nupur,I just found this in some enews and they have many of our blogs and posts without asking us(or me anyway!)What do you think?They have this post too.

    http://www.enewss.com/Recipes/

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  24. This is such a crazy, innovative, delicious, inventive dish Nupur. Excellent. The flavours coming together there - Italian Pasta, Red Thai curry paste and coconut milk, WOW! I must give this a try. You are one creative lady.

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  25. TC, thanks!

    Cathy, it is your company that made this meal so special!

    Nandita, see you at the round-up on Sunday!

    Roopa, glad you like it!

    N, good luck with your venture. I regret that I have too many committments already and will not be able to contribute.

    Suganya, true, it is a welcome change from the routine!

    Musical, hmmm...never have tried Indian spices on pasta...must experiment more :)

    Pom, thanks!

    Asha, it appears to be a blog aggregator. I know, it does make me uncomfortable that they never let us know that they are setting up this site and including us...but I don't really mind because they only use small excerpts and link back to our posts for the full post.

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  26. Hi Nupur,

    Isn't it wonderful that spring is finally upon us :) What a wonderful idea to make a Thai curry sauce for pasta! It looks beautiful with the colorful veggies, too. Careful, or you'll have us all knocking on your door ;)

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  27. Hi nupur,
    I just came to thank u for ur microwave dhokla recipe.Tried this week -- came out too good with less effort.Thanks a lot.
    I did also try GELSKITCHENCORNER recipe for dhokla.They were also superb.I would recommend all if u wanna dhokla try these - microwave or otherwise.Just come out perfect..yummy...less effort...breezy

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  28. Pasta and Thai food are my favourite.. a lovely recipe Nupur.

    Also, I have a Monthly Cooking Tipology event on my blog to celebrate Mother's day. Hope you would participate and share with all of us some of your cooking tips

    Thanxs
    Sushma

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  29. hey nupur!
    just tried this one.. really lip smacking ! thanks.. i love the flavor of coconut milk but the calories written on the can give me a virtual heart attack every time I open it !:)

    have a gud week ahead ..

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  30. That's a very good approach of narrating a recipe in a story-like manner. I'm making this tomorrow for my kids. It is a snap to prepare.

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