Monday, February 1, 2010

Crunchy Noodle Salad

I love having cold pasta salads in the summer. They are easy to make, they keep well in the refrigerator, and they can be served as a side dish or as a light meal by themselves. I know it is far from summer, but as we begin February with a week of forecasted snow, a summer inspired meal is the easiest way to transport youself to a warmer season. This pasta salad is Ina Garten's - I followed her recipe pretty closely, making only a few changes to suit what I had on hand. This dish reminds me of a stir-fry since the sugar snap peas and the peppers are crunchy. The noodles are Asian-inspired with a creamy peanut butter sauce that I thought would challenge our pallets since we usually only enjoy peanut butter on toast and in our cookies. We loved this salad!! I made this to be served with grilled sandwiches but this has enough substance and a enough pizzazz to be served by itself.
Crunchy Noodle SaladRecipe from Ina Garten
1/2 pound thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 pound sugar snap peas - I had to use frozen but fresh would be best
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds, divided
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a large pot, boil salted water and cook pasta 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Rinse sugar snap peas with ice water and drain. Add peas, sliced peppers and green onions to the pasta bowl.
For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and peanut butter. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and the parsley and toss together.
Printable Recipe

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