Spaghetti Goes Indian

Who says that spaghetti has to be an Italian dish? Simply changing up your spices gives this classic pasta dish a whole new spin.

Spaghetti is that classic Italian dish that's not only quick and easy to make, it's delicious too. But who says spaghetti has to be an Italian dish? Why couldn't it be Cajun or even Indian? It all comes down to which spices are mixed into your sauce. Instead of basil and oregano, why not use cumin, ginger and garam masala? And instead of olive oil, why not use plain yogurt?

If this is starting to sound more like chicken tikka masala, you're right. Better Homes and Gardens took that classic Indian dish and turned it into a delicious casserole with an Italian flare. So whether you like Indian or Italian or both, this dish is absolutely one that's worth the extra effort.

Indian chicken casserole

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1 pound queso fresco, crumbled
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a three-quart baking dish.
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
  3. While the spaghetti cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about four minutes. Add the lemon juice, garlic, ginger, two teaspoons garam masala, two teaspoons cumin and the chili powder and cook for one minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another two minutes. Stir in the yogurt, cream, salt, pepper and chicken. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Combine three-quarters of the queso fresco, spinach, cream cheese, the remaining garam masala and cumin in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Transfer half the chicken mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Top with half the spaghetti. Spread the spinach mixture over the spaghetti. Top with the remaining spaghetti and chicken mixture. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for one hour or until heated through.
  6. Uncover the casserole, sprinkle with the remaining queso fresco and cook for another five minutes or until the queso is melted. Serve immediately.

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