Chili pasta is a spicy pasta dish made with chili peppers. The chili peppers may be used in fresh or dried and ground form, or as a spicy stew called chili con carne. They are used in minced form for preparation of a sauce which includes other ingredients like olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes, cream, flavoring herbs and seasonings. This sauce is tossed with cooked pasta to prepare the dish, which may be served as an appetizer, side or main dish. The chili pasta recipe is a versatile one, and many versions consisting of additional ingredients like chickpeas, kidney beans, chicken or pork, exist. Chili pasta dishes are quite popular in cuisines such as Mexican, Thai, Indian and European.
Popular Methods of Preparation of Chili Pasta
Chili: Chili can be used in the following forms-
- Chili peppers, which are spicy fruits from the plant of genus Capsicum (they are available in many different varieties)
- Chili Powder, which is made by grinding dried red chili peppers
- Chili con carne, a spicy stew made with chili peppers along with ingredients like onions, garlic, cumin and ground or chopped beef. Many local variations to this stew exist, and it is used as an ingredient in preparation of chili pasta.
Pasta: Pasta of any kind can be used for the dish, as per individual preference.
Other Ingredients: Other ingredients suggested by the chili pasta recipe commonly include olive oil, butter, garlic, onions, salt, pepper and flavoring herbs. Additional ingredients such as sour cream, cheese, soy sauce, tomatoes and tomato paste are often used for making the sauce.
Method of Preparation: To prepare the dish, a mixture of olive oil and butter is heated, minced onions, garlic and chili peppers are added in , and sautéed for a few minutes. Meanwhile, pasta is cooked in salted boiling water till al dente, after which it is drained. The cooked pasta and vegetable mixture are tossed together, and minced fresh parsley, salt and pepper are added as per taste.
Chili pasta is served hot as a starter, side or main dish, with accompaniments like breads, crackers or salads.
Chili Pasta Recipe Variations
- Vegetable Chili Pasta: To prepare this version, a sauce is prepared by cooking kidney beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, green peppers, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano and garlic in a slow cooker. This sauce is tossed with cooked pasta to prepare the dish.
- Chili Pasta Casserole: To prepare this variant, beef and onion are first browned in a skillet, after which chili with beans, oregano and tomato sauce are added in. The sauce is cooked for a minute or two, after which it is tossed with cooked pasta to coat well. This mixture is spooned into a greased casserole dish, and a mixture of grated cheese, chopped green chilies and sour cream is spread over it. The contents are then baked till heated through.
- Thai Chili Crab Noodles: To make this dish, a sauce is made with crab meat, garlic, tomatoes, fresh red chilies, tomato paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, lightly beaten eggs, cornstarch and oil. This is done by first sautéing onions, garlic and peppers, and then adding tomatoes and tomato paste. The remaining ingredients are cooked in this simmering sauce. When ready, it is tossed with cooked noodles.