Kids will be especially fond of this Asian-inspired noodle dish—after all, the sauce is made with peanut butter—but the combination of cooked and raw vegetables is refreshing and satisfying enough to please all ages. Serve the pasta immediately after tossing it with the peanut mixture; the sauce gets thick if it sits too long.
Fast Weekday Pastas
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 pound snow peas, cut diagonally into thin slices
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 scallions including green tops, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts (about 1/4 pound)
3/4 pound linguine
2 cloves garlic
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or homemade stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
How to Make It
In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, chicken broth, lime juice, red-pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Puree until smooth.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until almost done, about 9 minutes. Stir in the snow peas and bean sprouts and cook until the vegetables and pasta are just done, about 3 minutes more. Drain and toss with the peanut sauce, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the scallions, cucumber, and 1/3 cup of the peanuts. Serve with the remaining peanuts sprinkled over the top.
Though they're certainly edible, the seeds from a mature cucumber can be somewhat watery. You can simply scoop them out of a halved cucumber with a spoon and discard them—or buy an English (hothouse) cucumber, which is almost completely seedless.
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