Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spicy Asian-style Pasta Salad

The good with the bad: the computer is recovered and I am doing my blog entry on it now. Wahoo! The bad: I am at home with another sick kid. Poor E finally caught C's virus. This is her 4th day of sick and we are all hoping it passes soon.

The good: since I am at home I can post a new recipe!

This fast and easy to make Spicy Asian-style Pasta Salad tasted amazing. The leftovers made a fabulous lunch. I made it on Sunday evening, boxed it up and took it to work on Monday and Tuesday. The noodles didn't get gummy or mushy and the veggies stayed crisp. I think the key to the leftovers is that you initially add only enough dressing to coat the noodles and veggies. The remaining dressing is held out to be poured over the salad when it is served.

I adapted this recipe from the "Bon Apetit Fast, Easy, Fresh" cookbook. I followed the recipe when it said to use balsamic vinegar and it ended up being delicious. I think seasoned rice vinegar would be a tasty substitute. I also added the garlic and ginger. For me they are quintessential Asian flavors and I can't imagine this salad without them. One other addition which I do not mention below: shrimp. The addition of some protein made this more of a main course meal for me. You could easily add tofu, tempeh or chicken.

GF Spicy Asian-style Pasta Salad:
serves 4-6

1 lb rice noodles (whatever your favorite is, this would be good with sweet potato noodles too)

4 Tbs Asian sesame oil, divided
3 Tbs honey
3 Tbs GF soy sauce
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
3 red bell peppers, seeded, thinly sliced
3 cups snow peas, trimmed
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (I used a Vidalia sweet onion and it was perfect)
3/4 C honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain very well. Transfer to large bowl.

Whisk 3 Tbs sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt (I didn't think it needed any). Mix half of dressing into pasta.

Heat remaining Tbs oil in heavy large skillet over med-high heat. Add bell peppers, snow peas, and onion; saute until just beginning to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add vegetables to pasta. Mix in peanuts, basil and enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

Serve, passing remaining dressing separately.

I am still trying to figure out how to create a separate "printer friendly" document for you. So, for now, I am hoping that if you want to try this recipe you will be able to copy and paste from your browser.



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