By now I bet everyone who has read at least one or two of my blog posts would reckon that I am a big fat sentimental cook who loves making food that reminds me of people and places and very specially my childhood.
This simple pasta dish is yet another one of those recipes that draws inspiration from my schooling days back in Sri Lanka. I am blessed with 4 amazing best friends from school days who has stood by my side beyond time and distance for the past 20+ years and has so many amazing amazing memories with, out of which school intervals were a definite highlight, at least for me. Each of our moms had a speciality dish which would make regular appearances in our respective lunch boxes (and onwards to our tummies) which I can vividly remember to this very day. This corned beef macaroni was something Ruki’s mom nailed. Every single time I make it, I am transported back to those happy days in that beautiful convent school of ours. I am not sure if I do justice to aunty D’s delicious dish but I hope I would do those beautiful memories.
Moving on to the recipe, the thing with corned beef is, it’s has a pretty acquired taste – and unfortunately for me, my better half is not too big of a fan so it. So it doesn’t get cooked as often as I would have liked it to. But every time I do make it for myself or my guinea pig friends, we all sure do enjoy it.
Cast of Characters:
- Pasta (I use macaroni for sentimental reasons, but bow tie, penne or spirals would be good too)
- Half a can of corned beef (for 2 pax)
- Plenty of chopped garlic
- 1 Small onion finely diced
- Half a chopped tomato
- Curry leaves
- 1 chopped red chilli (these pack a whole lot of heat!)
- Dried red chilli flakes
- A tablespoon of tomato ketchup
- Salt and olive oil
- Cheese (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add plenty of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling water as per the instructions on the pot till they are al dente.
- While the pasta is boiling away, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and and the chopped garlic, half an onion and the curry leaves and sauté until they release their delicious fragrance.
- Next add in half a tin of corned beef into the pan mix well.
- Cook it till it begins to crisp up around the edges and sizzle and add in the chopped tomato and cook for another 3-4 mins.
- Dilute the tomato ketchup with a wee bit of water and add to the pan to slightly loosen up the corned beef. This will ensure it coats the macaroni well.
- Then add in the finely chopped red chilli, dry chilli flakes and salt to taste.
- Lastly, drain the boiled pasta and mix directly into the pan and stir well.
- Garnish with grated cheese if you like.
Do share with me what other ways you like to have your corned beef. Hopefully I’ll one day find a good enough way to sneak it into my honey’s tummy without a fuss 😉