Lazy Luddite Log

24.12.05

Nasta

I have been asked to put this recipe on my weblog so here it is. Nasta is a pasta dish that seeks to emulate the tastes of nachos. The following recipe will produce sufficient Nasta for two main serves or three entre-sized serves. It will take a bit over half and hour to do (more if you insist on harvesting and killing ingredients yourself).

Ingredients

Corn Pasta (250g), Grated Cheese, Chicken Breast (200g), Mushrooms (7 to 10), Avocado (1), Tomato Salsa (200g), Sour Cream (150g), Minced Garlic, Chives, Olive Oil

The corn pasta is the vital component of Nasta which is a bummer as it can be difficult to find in the shops. And even if it's there sometimes it has different names like 'wheat free pasta' (goddam call it what it is you gits). Anyway whatever its name it needs to be made with maize flour.

Rather than do my own grating (who wants to wash a cheese grater?) I get a packet of grated cheese (e.g. 'light pizza cheese' which is a mix of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan). I also tend to choose light sour cream coz the dish is plenty rich as is.

Preparation

Put your favourite cooking music on the stereo. Remove the hide and nut from one ripe avocado. Turn the thing into a pasty pulp (I do this by chopping it into small bits then putting them into a bowl and attacking them with a whisk). Add half of the 150g tub of sour cream into the pulped avocado and blend thoroughly.

Now put approximately 200g of tomato salsa into another bowl (I just get a jar from the shop rather than make it from fresh tomatoes) and then add the rest of the sour cream into it and blend thoroughly. Now you have two different creamy sauces to use in the cooking.

Take the mushrooms (normal field mushrooms) and chop them vertically into slices. Take the chicken and make sure it is in finger-sized slivers (I prefer to get it pre-sliced for stir-fry).

Now array one pot and two saucepans on the stove top and have separate wooden spoons for each. Put olive oil in both pans followed by a dollop of minced garlic in both pans. Almost fill the pot with boiling water. Now we can cook.

Cooking

Pop the corn pasta into the pot of kettle-boiled water and turn the element on high. Turn the other two elements on high too.

Once the garlic starts sizzling and jumping add the chicken to one pan and the mushrooms to the other pan. Stir both pans constantly and stir the pot of pasta regularly.

Once the chicken has turned from pink to white all over turn all elements down to low. Add the avocado cream sauce to the chicken pan and add the salsa cream sauce to the mushroom pan. Continue stirring the pot and both pans. The chicken and mushrooms need to be well covered in their respective sauces.

Once you feel the pasta is done turn off the pot element and tip the pasta from the pot into a pasta strainer over the sink. Once the water is all gone add the pasta back in its pot. Now stir two or three pinches of the grated cheese into the hot wet pasta. Turn off the other two elements.

Presentation

The dish is presented on a plate in three layers. The lowest layer is the cheesy corn pasta. The mid layer is the chicken in avocado cream sauce. The top layer is the mushrooms in salsa cream sauce. You may also wish to scatter some finely chopped chives on top for effect. Serve immediately as this dish is definitely best hot. You may want to have a refreshing glass of your favourite juice on the side as it is rather rich and the drink may help compensate for the "my gut is full of fat" feeling...

Note for Vegos

To make the dish vegetarian try replacing the chicken with egg plant. If you do this you may also want to sweeten the avocado cream sauce with a dollop of honey.

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