Ina Garten’s Peanut Noodles
These are maybe the best peanut noodles I’ve ever had, and will be my go to peanut noodles when I’m craving them in
the future. And they’re really quick to make- you don’t even dirty your blender. I served them with Eli’s Asian Salmon, another Barefoot Contessa recipe, and modified the recipe a bit to suit my own tastes- added a little chili sauce, upped the honey and down sized the soy sauce. Plus I added more vegetables, which you can change out to suit your tastes. The original recipe called for 1 cup of vegetable oil, which sounded like a lot, so I cut that back to 1/4 c and used 1/2 c of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce. The noodles will absorb the peanut sauce more and be a little less saucy in texture, but you’ll save a lot of fat and calories. This recipe from Ina Garten makes 4 larger and 6 smaller side dish servings.
2/3-3/4 lb. of thin spaghetti or thin linguine
1 c snow peas
1/4 c vegetable oil, plus 1 T
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c soy sauce
1 T dark sesame oil
1 T honey
1 t chili sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t grated fresh ginger
3 T toasted white sesame seeds, divided
1/2 c smooth peanut butter (using natural will give you a grainier texture)
1/2 c reserved pasta cooking water
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
1 c green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Asian eggplant, cut into 1/4″ slices
4 scallions (with and green parts), sliced diagonally
3 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the snow peas, return to a boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until crisp tender. Drain the peas and immerse them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then drain when cool.
For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, reserved pasta cooking water and peanut butter in a medium bowl, then set aside.
Heat 1 T vegetable oil in a wok or non-stick skillet over high heat, then add red pepper and eggplant and stir fry for 4-5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp tender. Add cabbage and stir fry for 1 minute more. Add snow peas and stir fry until heated through, about another minute.
Add the pasta to the wok and toss to combine. Pour the peanut dressing over the pasta and continue to toss to coat the noodles with the dressing. Top noodles with remaining sesame seeds and cilantro leaves and serve hot or at room temperature.