When it comes to pasta dishes, the sky’s the limit on creativity. No longer relegated to tomato sauces and alfredo, we decided to create a curry penne pasta dish that incorporates coconutty sweetness with the spice of curry. Top it all off with some crispy and perfectly moist chicken thighs to make a super flavorful weeknight dinner.
Curry comes from many different Asian countries in many different forms. Originating from India, it’s a combination of many different spices including cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and dried chilis. The different in color comes from the type of chili used in the dish. If you prepare a Thai green curry dish, the chilis used in the green curry paste come from green chilis. Red and yellow curries, a varietal in East Asian cooking and a staple in Indian cooking, gets its color from red chilis. The yellow curry powder used in this recipe is simply one that comes out of a spice jar, one of the easiest types to find. If you’re looking for other types of curry, however, you can find most at any Asian supermarket near you.
The base of this curry penne pasta recipe really builds around a simple bechamel sauce; however, instead of milk and cream, we use coconut milk to complement the curry and other spices. Much like a curry dish, but with thickness coming from the roux. The slight sweetness of coconut milk with the addition of maple syrup really gives this dish a complex flavor. You can also add in whatever kind of veggies you please: from broccoli, to eggplant, to spinach, anything works well with this dish.
The meat on this dish can also be interchangeable. If chicken thighs aren’t your thing, feel free to switch them out for chicken breasts, tofu, salmon, or shrimp! You can create as versatile a dish as you please when it comes to protein choice. Cooking times will simply vary depending on how you prepare it. We just love the rich flavor of chicken thighs when paired with this curry sauce, so our instructions are specific to this recipe.
Now go and enjoy this dinner treat!
RSVP/ENDURANCE® PRODUCTS USED:
CURRY PENNE PASTA IN COCONUT CREME WITH CRISPY CHICKEN THIGHS
A creamy pasta, kicked up with spicy curry and topped with super crispy chicken thighs for a flavorful weeknight meal.
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
For the Chicken
- 6 Chicken thighs
- Olive oil
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Brown sugar
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
For the Pasta
- 16 oz Penne Pasta
- 2 - 13.5 oz Cans Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Cup Pasta water
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 4 tbsp Flour
- 2 tbsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Dash Smoked paprika
- 1/4 Cup Maple syrup
- 1/4 Cup Parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro finely chopped
For the Chicken Thighs
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pat extra moisture off chicken thighs with paper towel. Brush with olive oil and place in 8x8 baking dish.
- In small bowl, mix together curry, garlic, onion, paprika, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Rub onto the chicken thighs all over.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops of chicken thighs with juice from dish. Broil for additional 3-5 minutes until dark brown and slightly charred on top.
- Remove from oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
For the Pasta
- While chicken is baking, start the pasta.
- In large pot, cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain and rinse pasta with cool water.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly add coconut milk, whisking quickly to avoid clumps. Whisk until coconut milk is fully incorporated. Add 1/2 cup pasta water. Mixture will be thick, similar to a bechamel.
- Add remaining ingredients, including herbs, and stir.
- Add penne pasta and coat well. Serve hot with chicken placed over the top. Garnish with cilantro and parsley.