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October 24, 2012
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Three Cinnamons Sauce by Windthin Three Cinnamons Sauce by Windthin
Because of Rachel's wheat allergies, when I make pasta for us, I usually wind up making two batches: one rice or corn-based for her, and one regular pasta for me. Consider that I had to make two batches of pasta and you only need to make one.

Take a large saucepan and fill between 1/2 and 2/3 with water. Add in this order 1 tbsp mixed dark and medium roast Turkish fine ground coffee, 1 tbsp kosher salt, and 3 whole stars of star anise. Don't stir. Allow them to steep together naturally while you prepare the sauce, until you are ready to add noodles. There is no need to start heat under the pasta yet either, as the sauce will take time.

Remove stem and seeds from one medium kabocha squash (I used a grapefruit spoon for the seeds). Chop into small pieces and use food processor to more thoroughly finely dice. Don't use any liquid. End result will be more of a coarse cornmeal. We have a small food processor, so this took many steps. During the final batch, about 2-3 handfuls, I added 1/2 cup Doc's Draft pear cider. All of this will be placed into a medium-large saucepan. Stir in 1 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, 1 tsp Saigon cinnamon, 1 tsp cassia cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp ground mace. Stir together well and set heat to 4 (or medium). Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take about 1.5 lb frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs and place in pot atop kabocha squash. Add 1 cup of water. Don't stir. Allow to cook 10 minutes, then use spoon to turn over chicken pieces; by this point, the water and chicken liquids will have filtered down into the kabocha, so the chicken will naturally sink down into it when you turn it over. Cook 10 minutes more.

Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. You may need to remove them to a plate for this. Take one bulb of elephant garlic (4-5 cloves), peel, and cut into half bite-sized pieces. Add to sauce and cook 20-25 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Also, get your pasta water started heating up.

Add pasta to water; because my wife's brown rice pasta takes longer to cook and I need to make sure I drain it first, as I use the same colander for my pasta and don't want to contaminate hers, I get it going first and then wait a while before I put mine in.

Add one 15-oz can whole potatoes to sauce and drop heat to 3 (medium-low). Continue to cook, stirring regularly, for 15-20 minutes longer. Remove star anise from pasta water before draining and serving. Add coconut flour to thicken sauce to desired consistency (we added 3 tbsp).

My wife had hers with brown rice shells, Galaxy Foods faux-parmesan, and a bit of salt, while I had mine over spaghetti. It did need a bit fo salt, but that's fine; I'd rather add too little salt than too much while cooking something, as you can always adjust it later.
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