Lychee Basil Spaghetti
By Justine Blu
Feast your eyes on this black-and-white pasta that tastes as delish as it looks. Whisk up
a refreshing tropical lychee-scented dressing fired up with chilli to liven up the spaghetti.
Cooking time: 35 minutes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons canned lychee syrup
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
B: To Cook The Pasta
100g squid ink spaghetti
1 tablespoon salt
1 litre water
300gm canned lychees*, drained
1 red chilli, seeded and finely minced
10 basil leaves, roughly torn with your hands
4-5 chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli), optional
1. In a small mixing bowl, mix A ingredients (oil, vinegar, fish sauce, honey, lychee syrup and garlic) together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Fill up 2 medium saucepans with 1 litre of water each. Put the lids on. Bring water to a rolling boil. Add 1½ teaspoons of salt to each saucepan. Boil the pasta separately as the squid ink pasta takes longer to cook.
3. Using a spatula or a pair of long chopsticks, keep stirring the pasta for 1-2 minutes – this prevents the pasta from sticking together. Put the lids back on and continue cooking for around 8 minutes or so, until al dente.
4. Pull out 1 strand of pasta from each saucepan. Break each strand. If the centre is white, it’s cooked to al dente texture. Drain well.
5. Put both pastas together into a medium mixing bowl, add the dressing. Toss well. Divide pasta between two deep plates.
6. Garnish each plate with 5-6 lychees. Sprinkle with chopped chilli and basil leaves. Toss in the chili padi if desired. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.
*Substitute canned lychees with fresh fruit if they’re in season.
As pasta cooks in the water, starch is released. This causes the pasta to stick together. Stirring the pasta while it’s cooking in the first 1-2 minutes is a critical step that prevents the noodles from clumping. Avoid adding oil as it stops the dressing from coating the pasta.
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