May 9, 2012

Asian Pasta Salad

It's getting to be that time of year (for me anyway) when the days are getting warmer and I don't want to heat up the house by turning on the oven. This is a quick and refreshing meal that will fill hungry bellies (without meat).

The sauce for this cold pasta salad has olive oil and peanut butter for fat and protein and is an adapted recipe from Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa (although I call it Asian Pasta Salad instead of Crunchy Noodle Salad). The phrase 'crunchy noodle' reminds me of those gross brown crunchy noodle straw things in a can that I hated as a kid!

You can dress this salad up with any fresh veggies that you have available. I have also topped it with grilled chicken if you want an added boost of protein or can't live without meat!

Asian Pasta Salad
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
zest of 1/2 lime
juice of 1 lime

1/2 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked according to package and cooled
2 c. shredded cabbage, per serving
1 c. chopped bell pepper
1 c. shredded carrots
1 c. blanched peas, frozen or fresh

In a small mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients until mixture is well incorporate, smooth and creamy. Toss half of the sauce with cooled pasta and refrigerate until chilled, approx 30 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and toss with remaining sauce and all veggies (except cabbage). Serve over shredded cabbage.

Serves 4

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