Thursday, August 9, 2012

This is not your ordinary pasta salad!

For some reason Asian foods really inspire me in the kitchen. I can’t get enough of the flavors that are so simple and soooo craveable. You can really kick up your summer picnic with this dish! 


Sesame Pasta Sala



1lb macaroni
1/3 c hot pasta water
½ c + 2T tahini (sesame paste)
¼ T soy sauce             
1T minced, fresh ginger
¾ t garlic powder
2T rice vinegar
1 ½ t sesame oil
1 ½-2 T honey
1-2 t red pepper flakes
4 scallions-whites thinly sliced & greens sliced into ½ inch pieces
2 T chopped cilantro
Sesame seeds
Snap peas
Shredded carrots
Chopped cucumber
Fresh baby spinach
Anything else you can think of!!

  1. Cook the macaroni to al dente. Don’t forget to reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water!
  2. Toss scallion whites with the hot pasta.
  3. Combine the tahini, hot pasta water, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, vinegar, sesame oil, honey and pepper flakes. 
  4. While pasta is still warm, toss some of the dressing over it. The macaroni will absorb the sauce making it extra tasty.
  5. When the pasta is cool, add the dressing to taste.
  6. Toss in the veggies.
  7. Top your pasta salad with a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds, the scallion greens and the cilantro.

Alternatives, ideas and suggestions

  • I like to use garlic powder in this recipe because it is easier to tolerate than raw, minced garlic.
  • Using hot water helps thin out the tahini when making the sauce, and the starch from the pasta adds body to it.
  • If you accidentally get rid of the pasta water, you can use hot tap water.
  • Adding the scallion whites to the drained, hot pasta will help enhance the flavor of the scallions.
  • If you’d like to make this salad a main course, add a protein like fried tofu or sliced rare steak.
  • The veggie possibilities you could add to this salad are endless! Bok choy, fresh green beans, tomatoes, red onion, broccoli…
Who ever said "Don't play with your food?!!?" Go on now, get creative and play with your pasta!!!

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