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Recipe: Pasta with Infused Oil

As all of us are at home all of the time, either getting “cabin fever’ pacing up and down, the telly no longer charms, gardening is out of the question as you live in a flat and reading gets tedious, how about getting into the kitchen and whip up some delectables (we hope they will be!!) which are readily available and which most of my dear readers can purchase, even under the current MCO.

Preparing food and cooking is known to be a calming activity, engaging the mind as well as the body. And as cooking for the family is all that is asked for during this stressful period, I will be posting recipes here on a daily basis for you to experiment with during the days ahead.

I cajoled my dear friend Margarita Lee (Ipohite) who currently lives in Sydney and who used to contribute recipes in these pages in the early days of Ipoh Echo, to ferret in her voluminous log of recipes and share some with us. Here is one of her easy recipes:

Pasta with Infused Oil

by Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee

Ingredients A:

  • 2 cups Olive oil
  • 3-4 stalks Lemongrass (smashed)
  • 3-4 Curry leaves
  • 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 3-4 Bay leaves 
  • 2-3 Birds eye chilli (chilli padi)

Ingredients B: 

  • 200g Spaghetti
  • 4 cloves Minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Parsley leaves
  • 1/2 chopped Onion 
  • 1 tbsp chopped Red capsicum 
  • 1 tbsp chopped Green capsicum 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Photo by Margarita Lee

Method: 

  1. Sauté olive oil with Ingredients A.  Simmer for 5 minutes to allow the oil to infuse. Pour into jars (you can keep oil up to 2 weeks).
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions and drain well.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of prepared infused oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in garlic and onion, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes, until browned and toasted. Add in capsicums and stir well. 
  4. Add in 3-4 tablespoons of infused oil, mix in the cooked pasta and toss well.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley leaves.
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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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