One thing you’ll almost always find in my fridge is a jar of tahini. This sesame seed paste is a key ingredient in hummus, which I make on a regular basis. I just bought a new jar and thought it would be fun to use it for something other than hummus. I decided on a recipe for szechuan noodles from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook.
This recipe is essentially noodles and vegetables in a peanut and sesame sauce. I doubled the amount of peppers, because in my mind the more vegetables, the better. I also used whole wheat pasta to up the nutritional value. The sauce has quite a few ingredients, but can be made days in advance. I just could not understand why this sauce contains so much vegetable oil – isn’t peanut butter, tahini, sesame oil and chili oil enough fat? My only guess is that the vegetable oil serves to thin the sauce out. I decided to omit the vegetable oil and just thin the sauce with some pasta water, which worked well.
Since I made the sauce and cut up the vegetables the night before, I had dinner on the table in about 15 minutes – you can’t beat that! While I waited for the noodles to boil, I cooked some snow peas to serve on the side. I garnished the noodles with green onions, and some black and white sesame seeds for added flavor and texture.