Sunday, November 6, 2011

Szechuan Noodles


In case you haven't noticed yet, I love Asian noodle dishes. When I asked for dinner suggestion last week, there was a request for noodles, which I then interpreted to mean Asian noodles. I realize a majority of people would probably be inspired to make an Italian dish, but my mind went straight to these Szechuan noodles that my mom had told me about a while back. I am almost always a fan of Ina Garten's recipes, and this one is no exception. Though there are lots of components in the sauce, they're all things I have lying around the fridge and pantry. And with some of the ingredients, I found that substitutions worked fairly well and noted what I used in the list of ingredients.

If you want to prepare this meal ahead of time, you can make the sauce up to a week before you need it. The rest is simple and takes less than 15 minutes to whip together. My one complain about this recipe is the amount of sauce it makes. As much as I love Ina Garten recipes, I find that she often makes much more sauce than necessary. I'm pretty confident you could get away with halving the sauce recipe and still have enough. I froze my leftover sauce since it will come in handy one day when I don't feel like cooking.



Adapted from Ina Garten
Served 3 to 4
Note: This makes tons of sauce. Scale it back if you don't want any leftover.

5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup peanut butter (Ina suggests smooth, but I only had chunky)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used a low sodium option)
1/2 cup dry sherry (I used a Manischewitz sweet concord grape wine)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar (I used a scant 1/4 cup red wine vinegar)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon chili oil (I didn't have any and skipped it altogether)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the garlic, ginger, canola oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Puree until the mixture becomes a smooth sauce.

In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta. In a large bowl, mix the pasta with half the sauce. Add the peppers and scallions and toss. Add more sauce if you feel like your noodles need it. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pin It Now!

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