I guess I would say I started being more inventive, or daring in the kitchen was when I moved here to Mexico. You see, when you live in the biggest city in your country that affords you access to any ingredient you pretty much want, it doesn’t encourage creativity. What’s that expression, necessity is the mother of invention? So true.
As I’ve said on other posts, there was A LOT of ingredients that I couldn’t find. There were NOT a lot of restaurants with the variety of food I was used to. Add to that, my lack of willingness to acquiesce, and well, I started trying to fill in the food gap.
We do have a great restaurant that is very popular in Playa del Carmen that serves a large variety of pastas. The portions are huge, definitely a place to share a meal. I had one pasta here that was different than all the usual, it had a Thai twist to it, in the peanut sauce kind of way. We loved it and ordered it every time we went. Then, it dawned upon me, I could make this at home.
So I did. It took a few tries to get it right but it’s become a family favorite. With limes that are abundant here, a fresh squeeze in the sauce makes it so sharp tasting, in contrast with the sweetness of the peanut butter. And my husband always likes when nuts are tossed on top of pastas and ice-cream so perhaps that was the clincher for him.
The sauce can be ready before your pasta is. It’s a quick week-night meal that will have everybody clamoring for more.
- 4 TAB plus 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 3 TAB plus 3 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 TAB cooking oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TAB fresh ginger, minced OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 TAB cornstarch in 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 500 grams spaghetti
- 4 green onions, minced
- salted peanuts (optional garnish)
Combine 4 TAB soy sauce, 3 TAB lime juice, oil, garlic, and ginger. Add chicken and toss to combine. Let marinate at least ten minutes. (Can put in fridge for a few hours, covered).
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 3 teaspoons lime juice, peanut butter, broth, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk and heat until simmering. Add cornstarch and water combination and cook for a few more minutes as it thickens. In a separate saucepan, cook chicken in a little oil until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Add chicken to sauce and toss to combine and keep warm.
Boil water for pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. (If you want sauce a little thinner, add a little cooking water). Top with green onions and peanuts.