Foodie Fridays: When Italian food meets coconut cream …

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

coconut milk spaghetti

It might be obvious, but Italy has a long tradition of eating pasta. Most people in the country eat pasta pretty much every single day (if you know someone Italian, just ask them!) and a lot of recipes are naturally vegan! Think about “Pasta al pomodoro” “Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino” or “Orecchiette rucola e pomodorini”.

But I love experimenting … (not on animals). Here is what happened when I combined a traditional Italian pasta recipe with Asian ingredients. We still have the Italian flag (green zucchini, white coconut cream, red cherry tomatoes), but the taste is Asian fusion.

500g Linguine pasta
7 or 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 large zucchini, diced
1 medium red onion, chopped finely
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (leave the cloves whole, but squash them a bit with your hand to allow the flavours to come out)
6 tbsp extra virgin oil
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
400g can coconut cream
Alfalfa sprouts for garnish (optional)
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

  • In a frying pan, heat the oil on a medium flame then add the onion and garlic. Fry for few minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the zucchini to the pan, increasing the heat to high and adding a pinch of salt. Stir often.
  • When the zucchini starts to cook, add the cherry tomatoes and tamari or soy sauce. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the coconut cream.
  • Mix thoroughly. Add another pinch of salt to taste, and cook over low flame.

coconut spaghetti cooking

  • In the meantime, cook the pasta. In a large pot, bring water to boil, add one handful of salt, then add the linguine. Follow the directions on the package to cook the pasta. You should drain it 1 minute before it’s finished, saving half a cup of cooking water.
  • Add the linguine and the reserved cooking water to the sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the in the coconut mixture, and stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve, and garnish with some alfalfa sprouts if you desire.

Suggestion: don’t cook this dish if there is an Italian with you – they might be offended!

Makes 4 servings

Post written by PETA Asia intern Alessandro Giori