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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

szechuan noodles (from Ina Garten's 'The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook')

SERVES 6 TO 8

I love the complex flavor of this salad. Almost all the ingredients can be stored in the pantry, so it requires very little last-minute shopping. The sauce can actually be made a week ahead and then added to the hot cooked pasta just before serving.

6 garlic cloves, chopped
l/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 CUP vegetable oil
1/2 CUP tahini (sesame paste) found by the condiments or in the health foods section
1/2 CUP smooth peanut butter
1/2 CUP good soy sauce
1/4 CUP dry sherry
1/4 CUP sherry vinegar
1/4 CUP honey
1/2 TEASPOON hot chili oil
2 TABLESPOONS dark sesame oil
1/2 TEASPOON freshly ground black pepper
1/8 TEASPOON ground cayenne pepper
1 POUND spaghetti
1 red 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, sherry, sherry vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, and ground peppers. Puree the sauce.


Add a splash of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with three-quarters of the sauce. Add the red and yellow bell peppers and scallions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.

TIP:   Don't combine the sauce with the pasta until the last minute; the soy sauce tends to break down the noodles and make them mushy.

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