Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Pasta (generally) has the virtue of being a charmingly simple dish to prepare; one needs only to produce some sort of sauce to accompany the noodles. The real trick is what sort of sauce to make, and of course there are a near-infinite number of possibilities.
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In this case, I created a thoroughly delicious creamy sauce that combined the subtle sweetness of coconut mixed with thick cream, hearty elements of lardons (or bacon if one cannot procure lardons), the musky-earthy flavor of mushrooms, savory strength of shallots, plentiful garlic, and a host of spices—including most prominently basil but also hints of ginger to liven it up. Completing the sauce with olives and dried prunes just deepen the complex array of flavors, and when you sauté these ingredients in a tantalizing amount of butter, you will arrive at a thoroughly wonderful dinner.
- 15 small shallots (French shallots seem to be smaller than the US equivalent, so go for 7 in the US)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/3 pound mushrooms
- 5 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 pound lardons (or bacon)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 25 black olives, preferably pitted
- 10 dried prunes, preferably pitted
- pasta, cooked (use any amount you wish; I used 250 grams)
- olive oil, to prevent the pasta from sticking
- Peel and finely chop the shallots, finely chop the mushrooms, and peel and finely mince the garlic.
- In a large casserole dish, heat the butter over high heat until it is hot. Add in the mushrooms, sauté briefly, then the shallots, then the lardons, and then the garlic.
- Turn down the heat to medium and sauté for several minutes. Then add in the coconut milk, stir together, and then the heavy cream. Season with basil, salt, pepper, and ginger.
- Add in the olives and dried prunes. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. At the end of this period, add in the pasta, which has been cooked according to its instructions in another container of boiling water, and then thoroughly drained of its own water, and mix everything together thoroughly. Season with some final addition salt and pepper
© 2018 Ryan Thomas