As people go through difficult times, either providing them with a meal or gathering with a few friends or neighbors over a meal can be a source of comfort.
A pasta dish is an easy meal to make and transport. In this recipe, fresh, green cilantro leaves contribute a pop of color and flavor, not to mention add antioxidants, folic acid, and vitamins A, C and K. The flavors of this dish intensify if it is covered and chilled so you can make it a day ahead, refrigerate, and remove a half hour before serving to bring to room temperature, says culinary herbalist and cookbook author Pat Crocker, who created this recipe for Real Food.
If you’d like, you could try adding some cooked chicken or other protein of your choice. This recipe makes a generous amount of salsa—more than you’ll need for the 8-ounce package of pasta, so you could make a double batch of pasta and share another meal. Crocker suggests storing any remaining salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (you may need to strain it after storing), and if you don’t make a second batch of this dish, serve it as an appetizer dip with corn tortillas or piled on a round of creamy-soft Brie.
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In light of destruction throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods in the past week, residents face an increased need of food and personal supplies. Local organizations are offering a hand. See Minnesota Monthly associate editor Erik Tormoen’s “Where to Drop Off and Pick Up Donations in the Twin Cities..”
Thai Nut Salsa with Pasta Bowties
Makes 4 Servings
8 ounces farfalle pasta
For the Thai Nut Salsa (Makes 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 can (15 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
1 cup natural peanut, almond or cashew butter
¼ cup honey or brown rice syrup
juice of 1 lime
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 sprigs fresh cilantro for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the farfalle according to package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well, rinse with cool water, and place in a large bowl.
- In the meantime, for the salsa, heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and curry and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until onions are soft and mixture is fragrant.
- Add coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add nut butter, honey, and lime juice. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until incorporated and smooth. Stir in cilantro.
- Scrape 2 cups salsa over cooked farfalle, toss well, and serve immediately. Garnish each plate with a sprig of cilantro.
Nutrition Info Thai Nut Salsa with Pasta Bowties (Per Serving): Calories 764 (343 From Fat); Fat 41g (Sat. 16g); Chol 0mg; Sodium 400mg; Carb 87g; Fiber 7g; Protein 20g
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