Big Flavor, Little Effort : A Must Have Recipe For Summer
As warm weather approaches, I always get excited for the cold dishes that I'm not in the mood for when it's freezing out. I put this recipe on my old blog about 4 years ago and I think it's time to put it in the spotlight on this new site! Cold Curry-Peanut Noodles from Food Network Magazine never disappoint (unless I make them really spicy and someone is a little sensitive to the heat!).
The sauce for these fabulous noodles is made primarily from peanut butter, red curry paste and rice vinegar. If you are not a regular user of curry paste, please note that not all are created equal. The one pictured above is much more mild. I can use a full two tablespoons and it's not overly spicy.
When I use this, or one from the Asian market, I can do 1 tablespoon and have plenty of heat (I do like it spicy so I find 1 1/2 to be the magic measure).
This recipe also calls for whole wheat spaghetti. If you're normally not a fan of the whole wheat pasta, I invite you to give it a try here. It's really good in this recipe, you may not even know the difference! A great way to start changing over from regular pasta (we try to limit refined grains to keep the waistline among other things in check!).
The sauce can be made in a blender, food processor or (what I often use) a Nutra-Bullet. You blend the peanut butter, curry paste, rice vinegar, cilantro, a little lime juice and some of the pasta water. It blends up lickity split.
The most difficult part of this recipe is (still wicked easy) cutting the cucumbers into thin slices. The cucumbers in this picture are a little too thin, you don't want them to get lost in there! The carrots can be either coarsely grated or also sliced thin (you could use the match stick carrots from the grocery store to make this really easy!). OMG, I almost forgot the scallion, a couple of those, thinly sliced go great in this salad. (I've been known to add some thin strips of red pepper too, but no need to get too crazy!)
Oh man, you guys are going to love this!
Cold Curry-Peanut Noodles
12 oz whole wheat spaghetti
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 to 2 Tbs red curry paste
2 tsp rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, plus more for sprinkling
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 large carrot, coarsely grated or sliced into thin strips
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as label directs. Reserve about 1 cup cooking water, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water.
Meanwhile, puree the peanut butter, curry paste, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Toss the spaghetti with the peanut sauce, scallions, carrot and cucumber in a large bowl until well coated. Season with salt and add as needed, reserved cooking water loosen. Top with fresh cilantro and lime wedges (if you like).
These noodles are great on their own but also make a great side dish to a nice grilled piece of swordfish or chicken. I hope you like them as much as I do!