Sesame Pasta

Asparagus, smoked salmon (direct from a fisherman in the north west, mm!), and grape tomatoes make great tang and texture atop a delicious bed of sesame noodles.

Oh, pasta; one of my favorite staples. There is very little that can go wrong when you start with pasta!
This is a recipe I got long ago and have since then mostly not cared about the recipe and just played with various levels of salty, sweet, and sour tastes mingled with optional other tastes like ginger, veggies, and crunchy textures.

Original! Combine:
7 Tbs sesame oil
7 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs hot sesame chili oil
2-3 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs chopped green onions
2 Tbs chopped cilantro leaves

Boil 12oz  angel hair or rice noodles. Do not add salt to the water. Spray with cold water, drain well. Mix with 1/2 of the marinade Leave at room temperature or store in the refrigerator.

optional: Wash eggplant and poke holes in it with a fork.
Bake it at 400 deg till it is soft. Cut and let cool, then scrape its “meat”.

Marinate eggplant covered at least one hour in the remaining marinade combined with
1 Tb grated ginger
1-2   squashed garlic cloves

Eat at room temperature or slightly warm. You can also add sesame seeds, peanuts, bean sprouts, thinly cut carrots, steamed pea-pods, or cut asparagus at this point.

But I typically brown the garlic a bit so that it’s a little less harsh and I often leave out the ginger and green onions and add extra fresh cilantro. I go light on the hot sauce if I’m sharing because not everyone is a fan and heavy if I’m eating it all myself because I’m making up for times I’m sharing and don’t get enough hot sauce. ( : I go for a white vinegar instead of balsamic because the flavor is lighter. And it makes a great warm pasta that doesn’t need to marinate after lightly pan frying.

Marinaded eggplant, sesame pasta, topped with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

For an instant (15 minutes, plus boiling pasta) I fry up slices of eggplant with half the “marinade” and some garlic. Then add the pasta and sauté till it’s absorbed the flavor. top with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro. Taste as you go and change as you see fit. Delicious!

Chop, saute, eat! Simple, fast, hard to mess up. Just don’t add too much oil or salt.

veggies, and crunchy textures.

Combine:
7 Tbs sesame oil
7 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs white vinegar
1/2 – 3 Tbs hot sesame chili oil
0-3 Tbs (brown) sugar
2 Tbs chopped cilantro leaves

Boil 12oz (one box) spaghetti (or linguini). Don’t add salt to the water.

Rinse with cold water in the colander, drain well.

Saute, while the pasta boils , some chopped or minced garlic lightly in a Tbs any oil to cut its sharpness. Add to marinade. If you want to keep it simple you can add the garlic raw, or mash a couple cloves with the side of a large knife and then take them out before eating. This means you only need one bowl outside of boiling pasta.
1-2   chopped or minced garlic cloves (or 2-3 squished whole cloves)

Mix pasta with the marinade.  Leave at room temperature (up to a day, but at least a couple hours for a stronger flavor. For instant eating heat the pasta with the marinade in a pan) or store in the refrigerator.

Eat at room temperature or slightly warm.

Optional extras: You can also sprinkle on sesame seeds, peanuts, bean sprouts, or thinly cut raw carrot slices/sticks for a nice crunchy texture. Topping with a vegetable or two like asparagus (lightly sauteed), pea-pods (steamed), peppers, or eggplant (grilled or sauteed); or some salmon is also delicious. The eggplant may be soft, but the green vegetables or pepper should have a bit of a bite. It’s very flexible that way, easily transferring from a side dish to a main course.

As a side to bring to a picnic potluck it can’t be beat because you can prepare it the night before or days before and so long as you warm it slightly before going out it’s delicious. Don’t leave anything that is supposed to be crunchy on it for that long, though. So peanuts (watch allergies and warn people!) or toothpick-ed carrots should be added at the end just before going out.

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