Saturday, August 22, 2009

For the Love of Pasta: Spicy Peanut Butter Spaghetti

I love peanut butter so much that I was so excited to make this Peanut Butter Pasta dish I've been researching about for a couple of months now. And I just made it a while ago. The result? Bzzzzt, I didn't like it. Why, you ask? I don't exactly know, but I guess it's because my tastebuds had reserved the peanut butter flavor to desserts. Or maybe I put a lot of PB, I don't know.

While I managed to finish a small plate of this specialty, my friend actually liked it. So for the sake of others' palate, I'll post the recipe and let you be the judge. And chef, of course. Anyway, it's super easy to prepare.

BTW, there's a surplus of chili flakes in the cupboard so I opted to use it again and complete the "Pad Thai" taste.


1/2 lb uncooked spaghetti*
1/2 C peanut butter**
1 C chicken broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
1/2 C cooked and flaked chicken
chopped roasted peanuts to garnish**

Cook spaghetti according to package direction. Set aside.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce and chili flakes. Stir constantly until well blended. Blend in cooked spaghetti, chicken and nuts. Serve slightly chilled.

*You can use any other pasta
**Use unsweetened peanut butter. In the absence of peanuts, you can use crunchy peanut butter instead.

For the Love of Pasta: Spicy Tomato-Basil Farfalle

As you may have noticed, I am a sucker for pasta. A friend of mine also noticed that he finds my taste "extraordinary" and "exotic" because I love pasta with herby sauces and I'm not sure if those are just euphemisms for "weird." I love how pasta dishes are so versatile-- well at least for the Filipino diet. You can almost eat pasta at any time of the day (save for midnight snacks, you don't want to have something really heavy in your stomach before going to bed): breakfast, lunch, merienda, dinner.

When shopping for food in the supermarket, I usually kill time ogling at the items in the pasta shelf; I just love looking at pasta with all its glorious shapes and sizes. Recently, I just picked up a bag of farfalle since I realized I haven't cooked with this curiously-shaped pasta yet.

Here is a recipe for farfalle. Farfalle is Italian for "butterfly"-- it derived its name from the shape of the pasta. However, it is usually named "bowtie" in supermarkets. For the sauce, I think you just can't go wrong with a combination of tomato, basil and cheese.SPICY TOMATO-BASIL FARFALLE

1 C farfalle pasta, uncooked
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tbsp dried basil
4 tbsp all-purpose cream
3 tbsp grated cheese
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cool and set aside.

Heat olive oil over low heat. Sauté onion and garlic until brown; add chili flakes, basil and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add cream and grated cheese and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken. Blend in pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.