Who else is prone to this?
Day One. Spy a recipe calling for some obscure (to us) ingredient, fun! Take note.
Day Fifteen. Spot the ingredient in a grocery. Hey! that's what such-n-such recipe called for. Bring it home, add it to the pantry, middle shelf, front row, right in plain sight.
Days Sixteen to Sixty. Life.
Day Sixty-One. Spy the ingredient again, this time at the back of the pantry during the quite-successful-so-far ambition to actually use , not just store, the pantry's contents. Wonder, Now what recipe was that for?
Welcome to my life. And say hello to the black sesame seeds purchased last fall for some now-forgotten recipe but much welcome in this pasta sauce from a brand-new cookbook, Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, a Christmas surprise from my pal Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.
I loved-loved-loved the sauce -- on the pasta but also, leftover, massaged into another kale salad, my latest daily obsession (at least it's a healthful obsession!). The recipe called for grated radish and cucumber (and carrot which I was out of) so I was expecting a colorful plate. But both looks- and taste-wise, the vegetables somehow disappeared into the pasta, which is perfect of course for sneaking vegetables into a diet. But me, I'd be tempted to skip the vegetables, then serve this pasta as a side dish with a protein and a leafy green vegetable.
To my taste, what's special about this recipe is the great sauce, more than the sauce-pasta-vegetable combination.
WHOLE WHEAT PASTA This is my first time to try whole wheat pasta and honestly, I was unimpressed. It was tough and sticky and didn't offer up the expected nutty flavor. Others are raving about it, so perhaps some brands are better than others? I'd love a recommendation. In the mean time, I'm sticking to the low-carb / low-glycemic Dreamfields Pasta, also recommended by Kalyn!
Note to Vegetarians
~ Sautéed Broccoli with Toasted Garlic, Orange & Sesame ~
~ Carrot & Sesame Salad ~
~ the oh-so-gorgeous Armenian Tahini Bread ~
~ more sesame seed recipes ~
~ one year ago this week, Creamy Spinach with Beets, an expected combination ~
~ two years ago today, Eggplant Lasagna ~
BLACK SESAME NOODLES
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 8 (if allowing 2 ounces pasta per serving) or 4 (if allowing the standard 4 ounces per serving)
1 pound pasta (recipe called for fresh linguine, I used whole wheat linguine)
VEGETABLES (what the recipe called for)
1/2 an English cucumber, skin on, grated large
1 carrot, grated large
4 radishes, grated large
SAUCE - enough for 1 pound of pasta
1/4 cup black sesame seeds, toasted in a small skillet (carefully! don't let them get away from you and burn them!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (I used ginger from a jar, from an Asian market)
2 garlic cloves (I used 3 large cloves and loved the garlic-y-ness
Hot red pepper flakes - the recipe called for 1 teaspoon, I used just a sprinkling
Fresh chopped cilantro, to garnish
Few reserved toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
Cook the pasta in well-salted water. Drain in a colander and return the pasta to the hot pan.
Meanwhile, grate the vegetables, either by hand or in the food processor.
Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
In the hot pan, toss the hot pasta and sauce. Stir in the vegetables. Transfer to plates. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.
Since the food processor out to make the sauce, I also used it for the vegetables.
The sauce can easily be made ahead, that would further speed the time-to-table on a weeknight.
If you have an electric tea kettle, use it to boil the water for the pasta. Very quick!
The recipe says that white sesame seeds can be easily substituted and I found little difference in taste.
In addition, it was hard to gauge how the dark-colored sesame seeds were toasting -- it would be easy to burn them, I suspect.
The sauce makes enough for a pound of pasta. Since "my definition" of a serving of pasta is only two ounces per serving, that means there's enough sauce for 8 servings.
LEFTOVERS While the sauce will keep over, I don't recommend 'dressing' the pasta to reheat later, especially if using the grated vegetables.
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