Something that we all crave but can’t stand the monotony of it!
I hope I am not alone when I say that I need fresh changes and rotation in the lunch menu a lot more often!
I mean, Spaghetti is good. Roasted chicken? Even better!
But every SINGLE DAY? Not so much! 😀
So, I’m always on the lookout for new alternatives for lunch that will jazz up the afternoon hour but will still tick all the health boxes and this pasta bake does just that!
I love Thai curry!!!!
It’s the first thing I pour on my rice at a buffet table. It’s the first thing I order when I go to my fav restaurant and if I could, I would eat that green sea of awesomeness every single day!
I say that now but we all know what havoc monotony wreaks.
So, I spruced it up a little bit and decided to bring together the magic of Italian and Thai cuisines and boy was it a success!!!
I know you get those premade Thai green curry pastes packed to the brim in bottles that promise authentic Thai flavours but we all know that is just a genius sentence devised by the smarty-pants copywriter who knows of just the right words to tempt you into making that purchase!
Great job, Smarty-pants! Great job!
But you and I won’t fall for it, k?
We’ll make our Thai curry paste from SCRATCH!
It isn’t rocket science, trust me! It just takes 5 minutes to gather all your ingredients and grind them into a lovely smooth paste.
Once that is done, all you need is another 10 – 15 minutes to get your curry going, a little longer if you want to bite into succulent chicken pieces. I opted for the vegetarian option and even if you are a hardcore meat eater, this beauty will sing to you. What I did was slice the button mushrooms in half as opposed to several thin slices, so every time you bite into a mushroom, it feels so chunky and meaty, almost like eating chicken!
While your Thai curry is simmering away to perfection, you boil your pasta but only till the point where it is slightly under-done! How do you guess that? You just boil the pasta for a couple of minutes lesser than what is mentioned on your pasta packet.
Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. You may think I’m bonkers for undercooking the pasta but it is going to be just PERFECTLY cooked when you pop it into the oven for the final stage of your pasta bake.
What jazzes this Thai Curry pasta bake is that lovely herbed crumb topping that adds the crisp element and also stitches this dish into one seamless fusion extravaganza.
By now you must be aware of the fact that coriander is my absolute favourite herb! So I took 3 slices of stale bread and added a lovely handful of fresh coriander leaves and blitzed them in the blender till the bread resembled fine crumbs. Your leaves need to be absolutely dry for this otherwise, what you will get is a bread paste as opposed to crumbs.
Some oven magic happens and in less than an hour, you have the most magical pasta bake you will have eaten!
The green curry paste mentioned in the recipe makes quite a lot and you won’t need everything at once. So, all you do is take the required amount and freeze the remaining. It stays for up to 15 days so you can whip up a quick batch of Thai Green curry and say goodbye to the preservative-y packaged stuff!
- 1 large onion, quartered.
- 6 inch long lemon grass root, chopped.
- 5 cm long galangal, roughly chopped.
- 2 cm long ginger, roughly chopped.
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic.
- 4 medium sized green chillies, deveined.
- 1/4th cup Thai basil.
- 1 cup coriander leaves.
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
- 2 large lime leaves, roughly chopped.
- 2 tsp soy sauce.
- ½ lime, juiced.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 100 grams Thai Curry Paste.
- 200 grams Coconut Milk.
- 1 tbsp jaggery or palm sugar
- 1 tsp salt or more as needed.
- 100 mls water
- 200 grams mushrooms, sliced in half.
- 100 gms capsicum, sliced finely.
- 200 gms of your favourite pasta.
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 slices of stale brown bread
- A handful of dry coriander leaves.
- First make the green curry paste. Add all the ingredients of mentioned in the Thai Green Curry paste section and grind to a smooth paste.
- For the Thai green curry, heat the oil in a wok and take about 100 grams of the Thai green curry paste and add it to the hot oil and sauté for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the coconut milk to the paste and cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium – high heat.
- Add the salt and palm sugar.
- Add the water and bring to a boil and then let it simmer.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium – high heat.
- Towards the end, add your capsicum and cook for a minute and then turn off the heat. This will make sure that the capsicum does not get soggy but still has a crunchy bite to it.
- In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the salt.
- Add the pasta and cook a couple of minutes lesser than the package instructions. Once the pasta is done, take it off the heat, strain and run it under cold water and mix with the Thai green curry.
- In a blender, whiz the bread and coriander to form herbed breadcrumbs.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- In an oven-safe dish, add your Thai Green curry pasta and sprinkle the breadcrumbs generously. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the crumbs turn golden brown.
- Enjoy fresh out of the oven