I love making pasta with an assortment of different shapes, so as to make it appetizing for my children . The most relished collection of dried pasta at home is the conventional type : spaghetti (thin rods) and Macoroni , (tubes) . I find it irresistible to stack countless packets of dried ones in the cabinet , so I may try out the new dish that I might have seen on the previous day on “Fatafeat’ , a popular Middle Eastern Food Channel.
My Children love pasta in general, but get divided when choosing the condiments that go with the pasta. The four have a penchant to eat it according to their respective taste buds, which obviously vary. Eventually they end up settling with the most common dish , ‘Mama ‘s Macoroni’ which is applicable to everyone. ” Mama’s Macaroni” –is my own specified pasta dish - the name in particular was familiarized by my children.This particular one is also a favorite amongst the family and I can tag it as the ‘most cooked’
dish during the holidays and festive season.
Ever since my younger daughter gave up eating cheese, an absolute condiment in pasta, I had to find an alternative. And was n’t I lucky enough to have found it sooner. I couldn’t have found anything better than coconut cream as the substitute. It’s absolutely delectable with pasta. Although traditionally pasta is cooked to the dent, my children prefer it flexible and very tender .In view of that I have adapted that method when cooking pasta.The recipe I have posted today is made with macoroni, the tubed shaped pasta . And for my vegetarian daughter, I skip the meat and add par boiled carrots and zucchini .
A packet of macaroni (500 gm packet)
1 1/2 lbs beef ( you can substitute with chicken)
2 large onions chopped
4-5 green chilies (remove seeds if you prefer less spicy)
A small pod of garlic
1inch ginger (or a little more)
1-2 teaspoons of Cummin seeds
1-2 teaspoons of curry powder
1-2 teaspoons pepper or according to your palate
Salt to taste
2 cubes beef/ chicken stock
1 cup thick coconut milk or 3-4 tablespoons of coconut milk powder added to a cup of hot water ( * or you can stir in the milk powder straight into the cooking pasta- if you use this method please add a cup of water into the pan when the pasta is being cooked with the other ingredients.)
Coriander leaves/ parsley
Boil the macaroni with a little salt (drain it and set aside). Wash & cut the beef into medium sized pieces. Boil the beef with 2-3 cups of water- with a little pepper & salt. Once done set aside (don’t throw the excess liquid).
Pound the ginger, garlic, green chilies & the Cummin seeds (set aside).
In a large pan, heat 2-3 tablespoon of ghee/butter, stir in the chopped onions and when it begins to get soft & translucent, put in the rest of the pounded ingredients (garlic, ginger, green chilies & Cummin seeds). Keep on stirring it you get that aroma (don’t let it brown).
Put in the curry powder and the pepper and give it a good stir. Add the boiled beef with the excess liquid into this sautéed mixture and cover the pan with a lid & cook for 10 minutes. Next add the boiled macaroni. Mix in the stock cubes. Cover and cook for further 10-15 minutes. Pour in, the cup of coconut milk or the milk powder( If you intend to use the powder ,follow the instructions given * )
Remember the meat stock cube is already salty, so add salt only if it’s necessary. Let it simmer for a while .Transfer in to dish and garnish with chopped coriander/parsley.
(Ready to serve for about 8-10 persons)
Or if you still fancy it with cheese
Transfer this cooked pasta into a baking dish. Grate cheese on top of the pasta and bake in a hot oven until the cheese begins to melt .Remove from oven & garnish with chopped coriander leaves/parsley (optional)
(P.S. You can adjust the spices according to your taste bud.)