Citrusy Coconut Pasta ( Vegan Pasta Recipe )
The twain shall meet ! And how !!
Well, my latest experiment of fusing South Indian flavors with the Italian staple aka pasta only reinforces my faith that cross-cultural marriages are not just stimulating but fraught with numerous possibilities. For example, I have always been a big fan of light summery pasta sauces that just about tickle the taste buds without ever dominating the natural taste of the pasta. And the citrus coconut combination is just that.
Keeping it vegan, I omitted the cream and instead opted for freshly squeezed coconut milk. The slight notes of garlic and curry leaf add subtle character to this sauce while the coconut milk infuses it with sweet overtones. But the best part is the uplifting citrus notes that make it the perfect pasta dish for the oppressive Indian summers.
But given that some people are not too fond of coconut, I have tested this recipe by substituting a spot of cream instead of the fresh coconut milk. And it works just as fine. Just remember to go easy on the cream as we do not want to add up on the calories.
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 15 mins
- 1 cup chifferi rigate / penne
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 2 garlic flakes (minced)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2 tsp canola oil
- salt to taste
Preparation - Bring 5 cups water to boil in a large saucepan. Once it gets to bubbling, add salt and then when it gets to a rolling boil, throw in the pasta. It will take about 15 mins to cook to an al-dente stage.
Once the paste is done, save a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest using a colander. Give a good shake to the colander to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other.
Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the minced garlic and fry till golden. Add the orange juice and lemon juice along with the honey. Cook on low flame till it thickens.
Remove from the flame. Add the coconut milk and stir it in for 1-2 mins.
Throw in the cooked pasta along with the curry leaves and chili flakes. Add about 2-3 tsp of the pasta water as it helps the sauce to stick to the pasta. Put it back on the burner and cook for 1 minute.
Remove and allow to cool down.
Serve at room temperature.