the life and times of J T Frey

St. Lucian Spaghetti

At a lunch buffet in a villa in St. Lucia I tried two items together: spaghetti that was dressed with butter and (seemingly) curry powder, and lentils. The combination was delicious.

Serves 4 people


  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas (soaked in 1 qt water overnight)
  • 2 cup beef stock
  • 4 strips bacon (diced)
  • ¼ lb ham (diced)
  • 1 small red onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • salt to taste


  • ½ box dried spaghetti (4 servings)
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  1. Rinse and drain the soaked beans and place in a crock pot. Cover with the beef stock and set on high.
  2. Fry the bacon and ham in a pan over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. Remove the meat and drain on a paper towel. Retain about 1 tbsp of the rendered bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Over medium-low heat, saute the onion and cumin until the onion is soft and the cumin is fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the cooked bacon and ham, the onion and cumin, and the cilantro to the crock pot. Stir to combine, then taste the broth and add salt if necessary.
  5. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until beans are soft and the broth begins to disappear.

For service once beans are cooked:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti al dente according to the box's directions.
  2. When the spaghetti is nearly done, add the olive oil and butter to a pan large enough to hold all the spaghetti over medium-low heat. Once the butter melts, add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Drain and add the pasta to the pan, tossing with the butter, oil, and curry to coat. Continue cooking for two minutes, adding spoonfuls of pasta water if necessary to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan.
  4. On four plates make nests of the finished pasta with a small depression in the center. Spoon cooked beans and broth into the center of the nest. Garnish with additional freshly-chopped cilantro.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday July 26, 2022
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