I made this noodle dish about a year ago and was craving it today based on memory. I could clearly remember the flavors and textures of this dish even though it had been that long. Tonight's version clearly reminded me that I need to make this more frequently than once a year. The dish was basically cooked spaghetti dressed with a sauce full of complex flavors made with ingredients I always have on hand. The addition of blanched broccoli, sliced red and yellow peppers and sliced scallions just brought the dish to another level. I simply garnished the noodles with roasted peanuts. The original recipe called for honey in the sauce but I simply substituted agave nectar for the honey since today is my Vegan Thursday.
Szechuan Noodles (Serves 3-4)
1 broccoli crown, divided into florets
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup good soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 1/4 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
1/2 pound spaghetti
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)
Peanuts (optional) for garnish
Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to set the color.
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.
Meanwhile cook spaghetti in boiling salted water to al dente following package directions. 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, scallions and blanched broccoli; toss well Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
I give this recipe 4 spoons!