Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another Day, Another Pasta

Call me the carb girl. Pasta is easy, so pasta it has been the last few weeks. This one, however, was a little different. I got the recipe from July's Bon Appetit, but had to make a few adjustments. While Tuesday night it was a fresh tomato type pasta, tonight we went Asian. Pretty good, but it felt like it was missing something. Perhaps the ingredients I didn't have. I did really like the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar paired with the hot chili oil. Very good.

I didn't have green onions or sesame oil, so I left the onion out and substituted 1 1/2 T rice wine vinegar and 1 1/2 T olive oil for the sesame oil. Not really the same, but the rice vinegar helped the Asian flavors and the olive oil provided the oil. I also just used regular basil instead of Thai basil. I didn't feel like hunting for it when I have a regular basil plant in my garden.

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil

1 T peanut oil (I used olive oil- probably should've used my canola oil)
2 T minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T Asian sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
1 T (or more- I'd used more next time) hot chili oil
1 1/2 t salt
1 lb fresh Chinese egg noodles or fresh angel hair pasta
12 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves

Heat peanut oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; saute 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Add next 6 ingredients; whisk to blend. Place noodles in sieve over sink. Separate noodles with fingers and shake to remove excess starch. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with sauce. Add sliced green onions and toss to coat noodles. Let stand at room temp until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in peanuts and Thai basil; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temp.

Serves 4-6

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