Sesame noodles are given a luxurious, tropical makeover with coconut milk and chunks of juicy fresh pineapple!
Do you have a million open boxes of spaghetti in your pantry? I am forever forgetting whether or not we have pasta when I’m at the store, so I buy more and then discover that there are like three packages already in the cupboard with 1/3 of the spaghetti left. Of course they’re never exactly the same either: one will be whole wheat, one will be thick spaghetti, one will be angel hair.
Fortunately, there is something delicious you can do with all those pasta odds and ends: make cold sesame noodles!
It’s one of my favorite preparations because, unlike other pasta recipes, cold sesame noodles hold up pretty well in the fridge for a few days. Sometimes I’ll make a big batch for Alex to take to work for lunch all week.
What’s not to love? These creamy vegan noodles are saucy, spicy, and coconutty! (Um, except I highly doubt that ‘coconutty’ is a word…)
I guess I was feeling a little tropical with this recipe, because I added a big splash of coconut milk and tons of juicy chunks of ripe pineapple. I know, I know, pineapple in your spaghetti? But trust me, it works. This sauce is pretty rich and thick, and the bright zippy pineapple cuts right through and really compliments the flavors.
You don’t even have to take my word for it. When I was testing this recipe for the second time, a squirrel tried to scratch through the screen on our kitchen window to get at it. Seriously, he pawed at the window for like five minutes straight, and he didn’t care in the least that I was standing right there.
Either he was a super bold squirrel, or I’m a super good cook. (I prefer to think it’s the latter.)
This dish is pretty flexible, so feel free to improvise. It will work with any long pasta you have on hand–linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine, etc.–and you could definitely use mango in place of the pineapple, and broccoli, green beans, or snow peas in place of the snap peas. I’ve even made it with almond butter when we were out of peanut butter and it was every bit as delicious.
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 cups chopped pineapple
- 2 cups snap peas, blanched, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. If the sauce is very thick, and a few tablespoons of water. (Sauce can be made up to one week ahead.)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and add about 1/2 of the sauce. Toss and add more sauce as needed, thinning with pasta water until the sauce is thick and creamy (you probably won't need all the pasta water). Stir in the pineapple and snap peas and sprinkle with the scallions, cilantro, and peanuts. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.