Every time I get recipe requests for the meals I post on Instagram, my immediate reaction is to cringe. Let’s be honest here; the reason I go by my moniker is because of the comfort I find in baking, not so much cooking. In fact, for so many years now I have been so adamant my inadequacy in the stovetop area of the kitchen is out-of-my-hands fatalism that I began cooking from within the depths of my oven. Even though I now know how to cook a roux without burning it, adopt a palate for the oft-quoted “salt to taste”, cook the mister’s (and now my toddler’s) favourite baked rice and mac & cheese without involving any canned soup, I can’t help but feel silly, almost pretentious if you’d care to call me out, to be posting cooking recipes, most of which would probably leave readers rolling their eyes, and go, “I don’t think anyone would need a recipe for that!”.
So if you happen to be one of the aforementioned people reading this (and subsequent cooking posts in the future) and thinking that, good on ya! And do share your cooking knowledge, okay? But for the rest of us, myself included, who thrive and appreciate simple recipes suited for beginners, or simply as idea boards for why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moments, here is a toddler-friendly (fresh ingredients, non-spicy) take on one of my favourite Malay dishes, macaroni goreng (stir-fried macaroni).
Stir-fried penne with scrambled egg
1/2 cup uncooked penne, or any tubular pasta
1/4 small onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium tomato, peeled, deseeded and diced
1/4 cup vegetables (I used frozen diced carrots, peas and beans)
1/4 cup homemade vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
sea salt, to taste (optional)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Bring water in a saucepan to a boil, and cook the penne till al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Drain, and set aside.
Heat up 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and scramble the egg till fully cooked. Set aside.
Using the same skillet, heat up a few glugs of olive oil, then sautée the garlic and onion over medium-low heat, stirring constantly taking care not to burn the garlic.
Cook until the onions turn translucent, then add in the diced tomatoes, vegetables, vegetable stock, oregano and sea salt (if using).
Bring to a boil, stirring to break the tomatoes down, then add in the boiled penne.
Mix thoroughly to coat the pasta, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Turn off the heat, then stir in the scrambled egg. Serve immediately, or tucked away in the lunchbox.