Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tikka masala chilli linguine

This tasty home cooked pasta is actually much more simple to make than the name may suggest. Well, the tasty part was largely because of the sauce that was used.

By some chance, I've recently come across a jar of Sharwood's tikka masala gravy from the British food section at Carrefour. The deep earthy orange of the sauce beckoned my attention and guided my hands to pick up the jar to look at the ingredients. I decided to give it a try. So that's basically the sauce that is used.

I've had a pack of chilli linguine lying in storage for a while. To be honest, I bought them because they were more of a novelty to me than anything else and having tasted them during the cooking process without any sauces, I can tell you that the chilli flavor was actually barely discernable. A barest hint would be it. So since this wasn't going to really to add any spice or dimensions, I'll just use them as regular noodles.

The process for doing this is quite the usual for pasta with jarred sauces. I'll just summarize it into 3 simple steps.

  1. The pasta is firstly cooked in boiling water with salt and then blanched in cold water.
  2. Pour the jarred sauce into a pot and heat them up.
  3. Move the pasta back into the pot with sauce and toss.

That is pretty much it for this. Nothing complicated. You can top this with ground parmesan if you like.

The optional item here are the bacon like bits of ham on the top.

What I did was to shred some ham. Any kind ham is good for this actually. Throw in some brandy butter to melt in a pre heated pan on a low fire. Add the ham. Both the butter and the ham have altogether enough oil to keep thing sizzling on low for quite a while. The bits of the ham should be browned and starting to curl when you remove them.

A point to note is, the usage of the brandy butter is just for the sugar. Not the brandy. I've done this a couple of times because I have a jar of them which I couldnt' find any other uses for. It can probably be substituted. The end result would be a sort of sweet and saltish bacon bits.

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