If you are open enough to accept that pasta can still be delicious without EVOO, butter, cheese or tomatoes, you will love this recipe.
East meets West in a silky, smooth way through this shrimp and coconut curry pasta which is made keeping in mind all those delightful flavors of Burmese coconut noodle soup, ohn-no-kao-swe. Each strand of spaghetti noodles cradles in creamy, dairy-free pasta sauce, thickened with chickpea puree and smoothed with coconut cream. Shrimps add not only texture with their naturally sweet meat but also extra depth of umami flavor from juices of the heads.
It is perfectly sweet, savory and rich; you will not miss your cheese. Skip the shrimps and replace fish sauce with salt, then you get a vegan pasta! Most of the cooking time goes towards boiling and cooking down the chickpeas but trust me it is worth your patience.
This is a brand new recipe and do not even have a Burmese name. I am proud to call it mine. Give it a try and so will you!
Servings: 2-3 people
Prep time: 2 hours
- 6 oz. shrimps, 8-10 counts, shell-on, head-on
- 5 oz. dried spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente
- ¼ cup of dried chickpea
- 4 tbsp. coconut cream
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup diced onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 hardboiled egg, quartered
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Making chickpea puree
- Boil the chickpeas with 2 whole garlic cloves and a pinch of salt over medium heat on a stovetop for about 1.5 hours or until they are very soft.
- Strain the chickpeas and reserve the stock.
- Puree the peas with 1/4 cup of stock in a blender till smooth.
Cleaning the shrimps
- Peel and devein the shrimps but leave the tails on. Save the heads.
- Marinate with a pinch of salt.
Making the sauce
- In a skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in vegetable oil till brown and fragrant.
- Add turmeric powder and paprika and stir.
- Add shrimps and the heads.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes with a splash of water, letting the juices from the heads to seep into the sauce.
- Remove the shrimps and heads from the skillet.
- Add the chickpea puree to the skillet and bring to simmer.
- Add coconut cream along with couple tablespoons of water.
- Season with fish sauce and sugar.
Tossing the noodles
- When the sauce starts to thicken, add the spaghetti and toss well to coat, for a couple of minutes.
- Sprinkle chopped cilantro and give a good stir.
- In a plate, place spaghetti and put few cooked shrimps on top.
- Garnish with more cilantro, a quarter egg and sprinkle red pepper flakes.