Although this is the easiest of the meals to actually make, getting my hands on the key ingredients is decidedly difficult. Though a beginner at the culinary arts, I did know how to boil pasta and pour sauce over it. When I became more interested in food preparation, my pasta started to step its game up.
I started adding a dash of salt to my boiling water. And then I read about adding garlic and then I heard about this thing called sautéed onions. It was kind of revolutionary to me. Even more advantageous was the discovery of a new kind of sauce in my own Tesco Lotus (Thailand’s Walmart) that made my pasta dinners taste even flavorful than before.
Thais know of some Italian foods and in most Thai cities you can find at least one independent/family owned place to find a small selection of farang foods. Given that most PCVs are not in areas with this kind of food available, we usually have to stock up when we are in our provincial cities at either Big C or Tesco Lotus for non-Thai ingredients. Naturally, the more foreigners in the city, the more selection there typically is for both farangs and Thais who are more aware of food other than Thai dishes. In Roi Et there is a Tesco Lotus that I buy my pasta (about 150 baht or fiveish US dollars) and this new kind of canned sauce (about 80 baht or a little over two dollars) making this a more expensive and inconvenient meal to buy (so after stocking up, I want to cry because of the cost), but so, so delicious and the best ‘comfort’ food I can make in my Thai kitchen.
This is also a good meal to make and share with Thai friends to explain how bread is not the substitute for rice like they think and it is possible to have a meal that does not include rice! Most of my lady friends that have tried it are not fans, but the students that have are, so I think an open mind helps. Sauce can be hard to find sometimes in Thailand, but I think a decent pasta dish is possible in any Thai kitchen with a homesick Volunteer at its helm.