Friday, January 10, 2014

Masala Macaroni

Happy Friday! This week certainly got away from me! Last Saturday, our friends hosted a Wildcard Playoff party at their house in north Jersey.  Their house is perfect for watching sports and, although we aren’t quite ready to move out of Apt. 3D, KK’s already set on having a similar “man cave” in our house one day.  Above their garage, our friends’ entertainment room has a 70” wall-mounted flat screen TV, and two 30”’ TVs mounted next to it.  I wish I had a picture of it, but you’ll have to take my word for it when I say it’s incredible.  The entertainment room also has a 3-side wraparound couch, built-in surround sound, and even darts! Needless to say, KK was in heaven! After the first game, we headed to south Jersey for a belated holiday party with KK’s cousins.  We had a white elephant gift exchange, an Indo-Chinese potluck dinner (the cousins requested I make Red Velvet Butter Cookies for dessert, but they were gone before dinner was even served!), and stayed up way too late! All in all, it was a fantastic weekend! Of course, I’m also looking forward to this weekend, which is just a few hours away :)

Since I didn't contribute anything Indo-Chinese to the family potluck last weekend, I thought I'd share an Indo-Italian dish with you instead.  Yes you read that correctly - Indian spices with Italian pasta! I was skeptical at first, but it was surprisingly a good combination!  Cooking the macaroni, or other small pasta, is the longest step of this meal.  But, let’s be real – cooking pasta doesn’t take THAT long! Unless I’m working from home or have a light day in the office, I can’t afford/don’t want to spend a long time in the kitchen, so the whole thing takes just over 30 minutes.  While your pasta cooks, everything else (chicken, veggies, and sauce) comes together.  One word of caution: make sure to continuously stir the onions and spices to prevent them from sticking to the pan or burning.  Once the pasta is done, the rest of the steps should be done, and all you need to do is toss to combine and serve.  Enjoy!

Masala Macaroni
Adapted from Hooked on Heat
Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

12 oz. macaroni
2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1-in cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp dried parsley
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coriander
¾ tsp chili powder
Heaping ¼ tsp turmeric
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp canola oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, then cook until no longer pink.  Plate, cover with foil to retain heat, and set aside.

3. When pasta water is boiling, heat remaining canola oil in the same skillet/wok.  Sauté onions, garlic, and spices until onions are browned and fragrant, about 5-8 minutes.

4. Add in the chopped tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes to combine well. Add in veggies, shredded chicken and pasta, and stir-fry to combine well with the spices. Season with salt and pepper.

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