I decided to take part in this months Pasta Please challenge hosted by Lavender and Lovage www.lavenderandlovage.com on a whim. Unlike lots of the food bloggers I avidly follow, I am not adept at creating wonderful recipes from scratch, but I am a decent tweaker and if I find a basic recipe I like then I am happy to tamper with it to make it my own.
This challenge was to create a pasta dish using nuts. Pesto was the obvious choice but I decided to go out on a limb with a curried pasta salad with lovely sweet cashew nuts. After finding a suitable recipe to mess around with on the BBC Good Food site (never fails me) I set about making something to serve to the girls in my book group that evening. I say book group but we normally forget to mention the book until just before we head off home and this week most people hadn’t actually bothered to read the book! Wine and gossip my friends, that’s all it is.
A few fellow food bloggers seemed sceptical about the curried pasta salad concept but I held firm. I love curry, I love pasta, I love nuts – it would be fine …. surely.
I am delighted to say that it was a big hit with the girls who gobbled it all up and asked for the recipe. It had quite a nice after-burn with the crunchy celery, cucumber and nuts working brilliantly with the dish.
RECIPE – CURRY PASTA SALAD WITH CASHEWS
- 225g pasta – I used penne but I guess swirly pasta (technical term) or bows would be just as nice
- 4 tbsp light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of curry powder ( perhaps add one then taste and add more if you need to)
- 150g pot natural yogurt
- juice ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp hot mango chutney (I discovered this in ALDI, it is rather hot, feel free to use normal mango chutney)
- 50g sultanas
- 15g pack coriander, chopped
- ½ cucumber, deseeded and diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- Great big handful of cashew nuts!
- Cook the pasta al dente, drain and stir in a little olive oil then cool ( I find the olive oil keeps the pasta from sticking together)
- In a bowl add the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and mango chutney and mix well
- When the pasta is cooled add the sauce and all of the other ingredients
- Sprinkle over a little more coriander and serve