Fusion night

So our pasta of the week was cilantro-lime.  (By the way, is anyone taking bets on whether Fabio’s wife has given birth since Saturday?)  Anyway, our pasta purchase sat in the refrigerator until tonight, while I tried to figure out what to do with those flavors.  I don’t know about you, but cilantro and lime just make me think Mexican.  But with pasta?  Is that allowed?  Can I make Italian-Mexican fusion cuisine?

Well, I don’t know if it deserves the title “cuisine,” but our dinner tonight did bring these two cultures together in one bowl.  I made a variation on my enchilada sauce, starting with fresh tomatoes (some from Matt and one from our own backyard plant) as well as the fresh garlic from our CSA box.  Ground beef provided protein, and just because I’m determined to use up the zucchini, I tossed that in too.  Why not?

The result: Mexican flavors in a hearty pasta dish.  I took a picture, but frankly the dish wasn’t very photogenic so I think I’ll skip it.  Instead, I’ll share my recipe for enchilada sauce.  Just sautee the onion and pepper for a few minutes, then toss in all the spices to warm for a minute before adding the tomato sauce and simmering until ready to serve.  I make this at least a dozen times a year, and it’s always a hit:

1 T. oil

2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 of an onion and green pepper, diced

1/2 t. oregano, 1 T. chili powder, 1 t. basil, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. cumin

1 can tomato sauce (or crushed fresh tomatoes with some broth to thin)


9 thoughts on “Fusion night

  1. andrewsbeth

    Yes, lime & cilantro does make you think Mexican. What a great spin on pasta. That is what a lot of this box and going to the Farmers Market does. It pushes us to make things that we would not be making if these ingredients weren’t staring at us! I love the creativity you showed tonight! (And, yes, I say she has one more child at home tonight!)

  2. jeffchild

    We were scared to try the lime and cilantro pasta for a while because I’m not a fan of cilantro but it’s not bad at all. The dominant flavor is lime. It was so good. I recommend you try it I’d you haven’t yet.

  3. andrewsbeth

    You know what Jeff? I am not a fan of cilantro either. It tastes like soap to me. But, I will try that pasta now because I do love lime anything. Good to know!

      1. Elyse

        Good to know there’s a scientific reason why cilantro tastes like soap to me as well, and not just that I’m nuts (which is also true).

      2. jeffchild

        That’s so interesting, Cat. I have always hated the taste and didn’t know there’d were other weirdos like me :). Hello from Pittsberg.

      3. carolyngalizio

        Interesting article on cilantro and the soap taste. I am one of those people who absolutely loves cilantro, but I now see that I should not put it in any dish if I am serving guests.
        I had never heard of anyone feeling that way about arugula, but maybe it is just because it’s not as common yet.
        Thanks Cat!

  4. carolyngalizio

    Tom, thanks so much for the enchilada sauce recipe. I am definitely going to use that soon. Kim and I both love Mexican flavors, (who doesn’t?) but I only have one recipe for chicken enchiladas that is from long ago and could use an update.

    We got the cilantro lime pasta once and Kim made shrimp, snow peas, and zucchini with Asian inspired favors- also good and very limey! I agree that I didn’t really taste cilantro in it much!


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