Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Korean-Style Spaghetti

I know. On first sight of those ingredients together, you might be forgiven for thinking I'm off my rocker. But bear with me, because this WORKS. It really does. 

It stemmed from what my more successful experiments usually stem from; insane hunger mixed with deep and abject skintness. The root cause of this is that I'm moving house. I'm flying the nest 2.5 miles away to the bright lights of Camberwell. So long, East Dulwich! You've been good to me. 

The fridge needed clearing out. Despite moving at least 12 times in my 28 years, I'm still a hoarder. I love stuff. I uncovered university prospectuses that I must've lugged around with me for 8 years. I didn't even go to uni. In a feeble attempt to cut down on packing, I rootled around the fridge and the cupboards and this beauty was born. Kimchi and gochujang combine to make a spicy sauce base, the latter's stickiness thickening the sauce up nicely, while the milk, cheese and sour cream (BEAR WITH ME) take the harshness down a notch or two. Bacon is essential because, well, bacon. You can leave the vegetables out but on your head the scurvy be it. 

Korean-Style Spaghetti

Serves 2

220gr spaghetti
1 small courgette, cut into batons
A handful of sugar snap peas, julienned
2 tbsp kimchi, chopped finely
2 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
2 heaped tbsp gochujang
1 tbsp ketchup
200ml milk
2 spring onions, whites separated from the greens, also julienned
2 tbsp sour cream
A handful of cheddar or parmesan
1 tsp vegetable oil

Set the spaghetti on to cook. In a saucepan, add the vegetable oil with the diced bacon and fry on a medium heat until browned and crisp. Add the courgette batons, whites of the spring onions and the kimchi and fry, stirring every couple of minutes, until the courgette has softened. 

Add the gochujang and the milk to the courgettes and stir together well, incorporating the milk into the sauce. Add the ketchup and simmer gently for 5 minutes. By now, the pasta should be just under al dente (if the sauce is taking longer just take the pasta off the heat). Add a scant few tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce and drain the pasta. Add the sugar snap peas, sour cream and the pasta into the sauce pot and cook on a low heat, tossing and turning the pasta so that it is evenly coated and the sauce clings to the strands. 

To serve, divide evenly into bowls. Garnish with the cheese and the green julienned spring onion. Chopsticks? A fork? I don't know. 

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