Strozzapreti with curry-kabocha cream and paneer

…or, I ain’t mad at a little fusion once in awhile, did I ever claim to be made of stone?

This sounds so wrong. I’d probably have been a little less off-base just putting this on basmati rice, in retrospect, but I wanted the toothiness of pasta with a squashy-curried cream sauce and squeaky paneer (purchased as a fool’s substitute for cheese curds for my Super Bowl poutine). Kinda like north Indian mac and chee, I guess. I dunno. It’s cold out n’shit.

I initially planned to leave the roasted kabocha in chunks, but it disintegrated upon a fingertip’s touch and I ended up folding it into the creamy Béchamel instead. I added some hot curry powder, a scant pinch of my Seven Spice™ and some dhana jeera (a blend of coriander and cumin seed). Lots of fresh grated ginger and a pinch of crushed fennel seed, then I folded in some butter and crème fraîche to finish with extra dairy twang. Top with another googe of crème fraîche and some chopped cilantro (and S&P to taste), and it’s like your Indian mom made you her best attempt at trashy American comfort food.

Serve with warm garlic naan and Madlib the Beat Konducta.