I’m a pasta girl at heart. As teenagers, a few of my girlfriends and I called ourselves The Pasta Club, partly as an offshoot of being fans of the film The Breakfast Club, and partly because we loved pasta. Did we cook and invent new recipes together? No, we just loved pasta and ate it together. A lot. Silly, but true.
The options for eating pasta dwindled significantly when we moved to Mexico. I know, nobody feels sorry for me living in the land of $1 tacos. However, my heart belongs to Italian food and I did miss it so.
We were directed to a pasta restaurant here in Playa del Carmen with huge portions and an array of sauces to please everyone’s palate. When our children were younger, we would only need two orders for the four of us (those were the days). While it’s not an authentic Italian restaurant, I admired the way they were adventurous in fusing together different cuisines and cultures.
One of our favourite dishes that we ordered again and again reminded us of causal Thai flavours. We ordered that dish every time we went. The sauce is sooooo thick and creamy, and it was so satisfying. I just had to know how to make it at home, so practice I did until I came up with a pretty darn good copycat recipe.
The sauce can be ready before your pasta is. It’s a quick week-night meal that will have everybody clamoring for more. Even my ultra-snobby 19 year old son gobbled some up today. When I asked “why are you eating that”, he said “you know this is one of the only pastas I like”. Score.
- 5 TAB soy sauce, divided
- 2 TAB lime juice, divided
- 2 TAB sesame oil, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 2 TAB fresh ginger, minced, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 TAB sriracha
- 1 TAB red pepper flakes
- 250 grams pasta
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- salted peanuts (optional garnish)
In a medium size bowl, combine 2 TAB soy sauce, 1 TAB lime juice, 1 TAB sesame oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 TAB minced ginger. Add chicken, season with salt, and toss to combine. Let marinate at least 10 minutes. (Can put in fridge for a few hours, covered).
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, peanut putter, chicken broth, remaining 3 TAB soy sauce, 1 TAB lime juice, 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 TAB minced ginger. Whisk together on medium heat until until starts to bubble and thicken a little. Add sriracha (can use more if you like the heat). Turn heat off and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat remaining 1 TAB sesame oil for about 30 seconds. Add chicken to pan and add red pepper flakes to chicken. Cook until chicken is nicely browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Add chicken to sauce.
In a large pot, boil pasta in salty water. Drain, reserving a little cooking water. In the large saucepan on low heat, combine chicken with sauce and pasta, adding a little cooking water if you would like to stretch the sauce.
Serve immediately with chopped cilantro and salted peanuts.