Updated: Aug 17, 2022
When it comes to making the most delicious Chakalaka Pasta, it is important to choose a short-cut pasta shape that you like. Short-cut pasta varieties fit more easily into a skillet to finish cooking, so it is a little easier to work with than angel hair or linguine.
Choose any shape such as:
Whole Wheat, Regular, or Gluten-Free?
Pasta varieties not only come in different shapes and sizes, but many varieties are also made using a multitude of flour. Whole wheat pasta is made using whole wheat flour, meaning the pasta has slightly more nutritional value and chew when compared to pasta made with white flour, for example.
You can also find delicious gluten-free pasta made with brown rice flour, tapioca starch, chickpea flour, or even lentil flour. These types have less starch than wheat pasta, so using GF pasta may alter the texture of the sauce slightly. Brown rice pasta is the best gluten-free pasta that still contains enough starch for a velvety sauce.
Making the Perfect Sauce
The secret to any good pasta recipe is retaining some starchy pasta water from the cooking process. Saving some pasta water for the very end means you will get a sauce that is velvety and coats the noodles just as a great Italian restaurant would serve. Using traditional wheat pasta is the best way to get the perfect sauce texture due to the starch left in the cooking liquid.
Simply reserve some pasta water before draining your noodles. Once you are ready to add the pasta to your skillet to finish cooking, add some cooking liquid first. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid, leaving behind the starch, which binds the sauce to the noodles. Before you know it, you have the most perfect sauce consistency, all from a small amount of reserved pasta water.
Chakalaka Pasta Recipe
Enjoy this incredible al-dente Chakalaka Pasta, made with spicy Chakalaka, short-cut noodles, and lots of melty Parmesan cheese. Serve alongside some garlic bread for a filling, delicious supper!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Recipe Yield: 12 ounces of pasta
Servings: 4 servings
1 package prepared Chakalaka
12 ounces short-cut pasta, gluten-free if necessary
1 cup pasta cooking liquid, reserved
1 cup baby spinach
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
½ teaspoon pepper
Prepare your Chakalaka as per the package directions.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, at least 8 cups of water. Add the pasta and cook as per the package directions until al-dente.
Before draining the pasta, carefully reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and set it aside.
Add the Chakalaka to a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in about half the pasta water to thin it out to a saucy consistency. Stir to combine.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet along with a few tablespoons of pasta water. Cook for 2 minutes and allow the pasta to absorb some of the liquid in the pan. Once the sauce coats the noodles well, toss in the spinach and turn off the heat.
Add the Parmesan cheese, pepper, and any additional salt to taste. Stir well.
Serve with additional Parmesan on top.