Maple Curry Penne

I used to live right beside Gahan House in downtown Charlottetown about 12 years ago. It was a single spot that’s now expanded to a few locations around Atlantic Canada. Not everything on their menu is my favourite but I’m a sucker for sweet and spiced things (this recipe isn’t hot but has a lot of flavour).

At the time, my go-to order was maple curry penne, sometimes on rice noodles, actually. It’s really flavourful and probably not an every day meal, but it’s a great treat and honestly not that hard to make. I had a first go at it today after doing some internet searches and finding some similar recipes. I’m sure it’s not exactly how they make it in the restaurant, but the flavour is really similar and it definitely hits the spot.

I also added more veggies to this dish because, well, I like veggies. I could see cauliflower working really well in this, too.

One thing to note is that this recipe is quite easy to make vegetarian and even vegan. Subbing the dairy for non-dairy substitutes and making your protein tofu wouldn’t change the composition of the meal at all. So experiment!

The Original Recipe: Gahan House, although I didn’t have access to it. Also, I did find this recipe by Fork and Fantasy that seems like the closest to what I was trying to find.

My Version:

Ingredients

  • 1 350-450g box of dry pasta (it doesn’t have to be penne, obviously)
  • 500g of steak, cut in narrow strips (tofu or other proteins would work well)
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 can of corn (frozen or fresh works too)
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of dairy milk (or coconut milk if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup of cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp of curry powder (since there aren’t too many ingredients, it’s very important that this is fresh and high quality).
  • 1 tbsp of butter (or oil if you prefer)
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Make pasta according to the instructions on the box, but make sure it’s al dente (slightly under-cooked) or otherwise you’ll get mushy dinner.
  • Prepare all the veggies and the steak to begin cooking.
  • Add butter to a pan set on medium-high, and add your steak. When beginning to crust and cook, add the garlic and onions and cook to sweat (but don’t overcook).
  • Turn the heat down to medium.
  • Put the bouillon and water in the pan.
  • Add the cream cheese and the curry powder.
  • Add the maple syrup and milk.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of pasta water into the pan and drain the rest of the pasta, leaving it in the pot while you finish the sauce.
  • Add the red pepper, carrots, and corn.
  • Cover and let simmer on low for a few minutes to cook the added vegetables.
  • Uncover, stir, and cook until the sauce thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is also a good time to adjust the syrup and curry ratio if you need to.
  • Add the drained pasta to your pan.
  • Stir it very well until all the pasta is coated and heated back up.
  • Enjoy!

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