The recipe is modified for Iittala Journal from Bastard Cookbook, published in 2019 by Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and Garret Publications.
Bastard Macaroni Casserole
by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Antto Melasniemi
Macaroni was introduced to Finland at the end of the nineteenth century. It has since become a staple of the national diet and is considered to be Finnish, rather than Italian food. The Finnish National Broadcasting Company recently ran a survey of the most popular everyday meals, macaroni casserole came in first place. It is served in school cafeterias as well as in weddings. You can find it all around the country, from Helsinki to the remotest parts of Lapland.
In this recipe, Finnish macaroni casserole and Pad Bai Kra Pao merge into a cosmo-politan Bastard dish.
400 grams (14 ounces) of dried macaroni
Pad Bai Kra Pao
3 cloves of garlic
4 bird’s eye chilies
1 tablespoon rice oil
400 grams (14 ounces) minced pork
100 grams (3 ½ ounces) finely chopped straw mushrooms
A generous pinch of brown sugar
A generous pinch of salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 bunch of Thai holy basil leaves
8 decilitres (3 ¼ cups) coconut cream
A pinch of salt
In a large pot, bring a generous amount of water to the boil. Add sea salt until the water tastes like the North Atlantic Ocean, then add the macaroni and boil until al dente. When almost done, drain the water and spread the pasta onto a tray or other large surface to cool down. Do not rinse as this weakens the taste of the pasta.
For the Pad Bai Kra Pao, crush the garlic and chop the chilies. In a wok, heat the oil until very hot and then fry the garlic. Add half of the holy basil, then the sugar, minced straw mushrooms, chopped chili, salt and pork. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and continue to stir.
Mix the macaroni and the Pad Bai Kra Pao. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Mix the eggs with the coconut cream then add this to the macaroni. Bake in the oven at 180°C (356°F) for 45 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and the casserole is firm in the middle.
Serve with fish sauce and a whole fresh bird’s eye chili for the adventurous palate.