Monday, 12 September 2011

Pasta-a-la-mexicana



Remember when I thought writing my thesis was fun? It's not. I'm down to getting about 10 minutes outside a day. I have one day left to finish up a rough draft but my final discussion is barely there. Everything else is quite strong though (I think - but I may have lost my mind, its hard to tell). I'm taking a short break right now, then I hope to get in another 1.5 hours of writing before bed which has been consistently 3 a.m. for the past 2 months.

Supper today was an idea I came up with last night. I looked in the cupboard and saw a bag of whole wheat pasta and a can of diced lime and chili seasoned tomatoes. I thought I could make a mexican-inspired pasta. Growing up and until I was at least 25 (before I learnt what recipes were), spaghetti with tomato sauce was my favorite thing to eat. Its still a go-to dish maybe once a month when I have about 5 seconds to make a meal. I always try to add something of my own flair like spinach, chopped baby tomatoes, grilled eggplant or zucchini, pesto - something to make it feel homemade even if the sauce comes from a jar.

Today I made my own sauce, which I really enjoyed but maybe the whole wheat pasta was not the best base. I'm not sure what would have been better, I was thinking a potato/sour-cream stuffed tortellini - I'll have to google that to see if it exists. I wanted to throw a dollop of sour cream on top but alas I had none in the fridge. I used goat cheese instead.



Spicy, mexican styled pasta sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 - 400 ml can chili lime diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • Serrano chili diced
  • Cinnamon
  • Anise 
  • New mexico chili powder
  • 2 tbsp tequilla
  • Lime juice

Garnish
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream or goat cheese

Directions
  1. Sautee the onion in canola oil with garlic and serrano chilis. 
  2. Add desired amount of seasonings (just a dash of cinnamon and anise, plus chili powder to desired spiciness) and heat for about 1 minute. 
  3. Add tequila to deglaze. 
  4. Blend tomatoes in a food processor to the desired consistency (I pulsed for about 3 seconds) and add to pan. 
  5. Sweeten to desired taste with brown sugar and balance out with lime juice. 
  6. Simmer and stir for 5 - 10 minutes.
  7. Add sauce to cooked pasta and top with avocado, cilantro and even fresh tomato and sour cream.
*I had the leftovers with sour cream and it was perfect - balanced out the spiciness very nicely.

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