I decided to try out a new recipe for Asian-y peanut-y noodles and remembered seeing Ina Garten make some for a barbecue on the beach (don’t ask me how this fits in with a barbecue), so I searched for “sesame noodles” on the Food Network’s website and didn’t see it. I didn’t think I imagined this particular episode of Barefoot Contessa, so I narrowed my results by chef – and these Szechuan noodles were the first, third, and fourth hit (out of four).
Okay, so maybe the words sesame and Szechuan aren’t interchangeable, and maybe you don’t barbecue them, but I made them anyway, and I’m glad I did. The ingredients were overwhelming at first: Fresh ginger? Tahini? Sherry vinegar? But I ended up having many of them in the fridge/pantry already. I bought almost everything else from Whole Foods, and for the rest I left out or substituted with something I had lying around.
All of the spices and ingredients resulted in delicious layers of flavor, and although I made way too much (a whole pound of pasta for two people!?) I was able to enjoy leftovers, since this dish is just as tasty at room temperature, or even out of the fridge, than it is hot.
- 3 cloves chopped elephant garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons hot sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pound whole wheat linguine
- 1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper, julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
- 4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)
- Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and ground peppers and puree.
- Cook the pasta. While it is still warm, place it in a large bowl and toss with 3/4 of the sauce. Add peppers and scallions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.