Sesame Noodles with Peanuts, Herbs, & Spicy-Sweet Soy Dressing
I like to use multigrain noodles for this dish; it’s an instant way to up the health quotient, and the slightly nutty flavor of the noodles compliments the pungent dressing and peanuts and contrasts with the bright notes of the fresh herbs. It’s a stellar dish.
12 ounces linguine (or spaghetti, vermicelli, or any long noodle you like)
3 tablespoons toasted (dark) Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts or cashews
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender (al dente), stirring occasionally.
While the pasta cooks, whisk the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl until blended.
Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with soy sauce mixture. Let stand at room temperature until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in the onions, basil, mint, and peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 6-8 generous servings.