I love anything with peanut butter. That includes peanut butter with pasta. While the combination may sound a bit odd to some, it is actually quite delicious.
I was watching the Food Network when I saw an episode of Food 911 in which Tyler Florence made these Cold Sesame Noodles. It looked tasty, so I went online to foodnetwork.com to find the recipe. There, I found two different recipes - one that involved throwing everything together in a blender, and the other entailed cooking the sauce on the stove. I much prefer the latter, as the raw garlic flavor is too strong in the first recipe. The sesame oil definitely lends the dish a sesame flavor, but it's really more like "noodles in peanut sauce" than "sesame noodles" if you ask me :)
This makes a great weeknight meal. You can make the sauce while the pasta is cooking, so it comes together in about 15 minutes (longer if you decide to chill it before serving, obviously). If you don't have a very high tolerance for heat, omit the chili paste.
Note: The pasta seems to absorb a lot of the sauce over time, so leftovers aren't really good. If you plan on having leftovers, reserve some of the sauce to toss in with the noodles later. (Not sure if this is the case with the egg noodles?)
Cold Sesame Noodles
from Tyler Florence
1/2 pound Chinese egg noodles or 12 ounces angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as Sambal Oelek
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cucumber slices, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don't stick together.
In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil over medium-low flame. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Cook and stir for a minute until soft and fragrant. Mix in the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has smoothed out. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with the sesame seeds, cucumber slices, and cilantro.