Category Archives: pasta

Aunt Pammy’s Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

 

Fully Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

This recipe belongs to my sister, Pamela. She is a great cook, and this is her signature Thanksgiving Dish. We count on it every year as her contribution.  I highly suggest it if you like spicy because it is! It definitely packs some heat, be careful when you buy the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce , just make sure they don’t say Hot or you might be blowing the roof off of your Thanksgiving Dinner! Be prepared for a lot of flavor !  If your family likes spicy this is an awesome recipe, and you all know how much I like spicy by now.  This is certainly a new take on Sweet Potatoes because they aren’t sweet.  I also make a Sweet Potato dish with Marshmallows (* see recipe) and the two are always on my table, one sweet and one spicy.  Thanks Aunt Pammy.

Ingredients:

5 lbs.Yams or Sweet Potatoes

Kosher Salt –about 1/4 cup give or take a little . You’ll have to taste, start with less and add more as needed

Heavy Cream ( about 1 1/2 quarts)

Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce (canned) *look in Mexican Food Aisle in most supermarkets

Directions:

Slice Potatoes thinly and add salt. Place in baking dish you are going to use and cover with kosher salt, start with 1/4 cup and go to the 1/2 cup. Use your clean hands and toss together.

Puree Chipotles in small food processor .* you can keep pureed chipotles in fridge for up to 2 months. So you can do this step ahead.

Put approximately 1 – 2 tsp. of chipotle pepper puree in heavy cream and mix together

Pour Cream Mixture over Potatoes in an ovenproof baking dish ( earthenware is nice for this)

Place in 375 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven.

Potatoes should be somewhat set and browned on top when ready.

Enjoy! and Happy Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Penne Bake

IMG_9874IMG_9875I love pumpkin as you all well know by now. That’s why it’s odd that I only make it in the fall and mostly only on Thanksgiving. I suppose that’s what keeps the ingredient so special plus it’s hard to find the pumpkin puree at the supermarket after Thanksgiving. I always buy a few extra cans of pumpkin so when that pumpkin urge hits I am ready.

I like to have a pasta dish every year at my Thanksgiving dinner. Usually I make my cremini mushroom and pumpkin lasagna. This year I am making this delicious baked pumpkin penne. I am going to make it Monday but not add the cheese on top till Thursday  and freeze. I will take out of freezer Wednesday night and Thursday will  put cheese on top and bake till bubbly.  I will keep aluminum foil on it to re-heat and take off foil for last 10 minutes. To re-heat it will probably be 1/2 hour with aluminum foil on for the first 20 minutes. It should start bubbling and put a fork right in the middle to test for readiness. If it needs more time and is getting too browned put foil back on and continue heating it up. You will cook it at 350 degrees as directions state.

One of the best things about baked pasta dishes is that they freeze so well. Making them some of the easiest dishes to prepare ahead. This whole thing including chopping up sage took maybe 1/2 hour to prep. My kind of dish!

as a side dish it will serve about 10-12, as a main dish figure about 8.

Ingredients:

1 lb. box of penne pasta, cooked and drained well

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling

3 – 4  cups shredded mozzarella, divided , I used about 3 cups in pasta and another 1 cup on top. ( 2 packages 8 oz. shredded cheese) you’ll have a little left over

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried sage

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cooked penne, pumpkin,  2  cup- 3 cups mozzarella, heavy cream, sage, salt and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Taste for salt.

Transfer mixture to a greased or well sprayed 3 quart baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted. Since I was freezing I pulled it out after 20 minutes, cooled it down and wrapped it tightly and put in freezer.

Pasta with Sausage, Beans and Greens

I love pasta and am always on the lookout for new and delicious ways to prepare it. This recipe is the real deal and reminded me of many a pasta dish I enjoyed in Italy.  If Joel liked greens more I would have added more kale and as it is he always wonders why I contaminate the pasta with all the beans and green stuff. If I were making for myself I would have added more kale or whatever greens you like. It’s not the most simple recipe as it has a few steps but thoroughly worth the effort involved. I loved the way the beans gave it so much flavor. I used Paccheri Pasta — I was able to pick up a homemade version of this pasta.  It’s just a smooth, giant rigatoni with thinner walls . It soaked up the beans and broth ! I used a can of cannelinni beans but fava beans would be a nice change or chickpeas. I used Italian spicy sausage but you can try spicy lamb sausage as well or any sausage you would like.

Now if you leave out the sausage it can be made completely vegetarian!

Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

8 oz. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney) rinsed and drained. You can use fava or chickpeas

1/2 cup dry white wine if no wine in the house try chicken broth

12 oz. paccheri, rigatoni or any tubular pasta–try a homemade pasta from your local market

6 cups (lightly packed) torn escarole, baby kale, regular kale, Swiss chard leaves, regular kale even spinach will work–whatever you like

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2 cup + 1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-heat. Add sausage to pot and cook breaking up with a wooden spoon, stir occasionally until browned and cooked through, app. 10 mins. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a separate plate.

Add white beans to pot (drained and rinsed) and cook tossing occasionally, I mashed some beans with the back of a wooden spoon. So about 1/2 the beans mashed and the rest I left whole. Cook beans till slightly browned for about 5 minutes. Transfer 1/2 of this mixture to plate with sausage. Leave the other 1/2 in pot. Add the wine to the pot, bring to a boil and cook until liquid is almost all gone–about 2 minutes. I sprinkled a little kosher salt in to the bean mixture at this point. You’ll taste again for salt .

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, cook until very al dente, a few minutes less than you would normally cook. Don’t overcook!

I used a pasta insert to cook my pasta . I reserved a few cups of the cooking water –you’ll need it. Don’t throw it down the drain. Drain Pasta and then transfer pasta to pot with beans and add your greens and 1 cup of pasta water . Your heat should be on low under the pot just so it’s cooking without burning. Cook and stir often until greens are wilted , pasta is al dente and sauce is thickening up probably 5 minutes or so. Stir and Stir. Add another 1/4 cup of pasta water, then gradually add in 1/2 cup of grated cheese, tossing until melted and cheese dissolves into a beautiful glossy sauce. Thin out the sauce with more pasta water if too thick. Taste for salt  and I put a little freshly ground black pepper in at this point.

Now add in reserved sausage and beans. Delicious pasta right here right now in your pot! and so professional looking and tasting.

Sprinkle with extra cheese if you’d like and crushed red pepper if you’d like.

Pasta was rich and tasty served hot off the stove.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

photo 2 (8)

Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!

Orzo with Lemon Shrimp and Spinach

photoDSCN0367DSCN0363DSCN0372DSCN0384DSCN0390By now you all know how very much we love shrimp. It comes in handy to have an ex-shrimp monger on hand to clean and devein my shrimp. I love cooking it but not so much cleaning and deveining it. Joel not only obtains the best shrimp around but he really does do a great job of cleaning and deveining. ( I think it’s in his DNA) In any event we make a pretty good team when it comes to shrimp dishes.
So now on to this delicious dish. I didn’t feel like grilling and this dish was calling out to me. I saw Giada de Laurentiis make a shrimp scampi on her show and she made it with arugula , it looked so awesome and light I figured I’d do it my way and make it with spinach even though I knew Joel wouldn’t eat the spinach.  This dish was pretty easy to pull together once shrimp was prepped. Not a whole lot of ingredients, and whole thing took about 1/2 hour.  This dish was very light in flavor and a perfect summer night meal, doesn’t have to be served super hot , can be room temperature. Thanks again to Giada for the wonderfully inspiring recipe.

*once the shrimp is prepared this dish is a snap. Have your fish store clean and de-vein your shrimp for you.

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup olive oil

zest of 2 large lemons ( try to use organic if you’re zesting and eating the peel) and scrub those lemons well

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice ( from the 2 large lemons you just zested)

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 lb. orzo

1 lb. shrimp , I used large under 10’s, peeled and deveined  ( you can have fish monger do this )

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large shallot , chopped

app. 1 more teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dry white wine ,  ( I used what I had on hand)

6 ounces of spinach , I used baby spinach, use whatever greens you like. Giada used arugula .

Directions:

Cook orzo according to directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper . Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook until soft for a few minutes. Add the shrimp, cook shrimp until they turn pink and are just cooked through depending on the size of your shrimp. When shrimp is cooked through remove the shrimp from the skillet. Increase the heat to high and add the 1/2 cup of wine, allow to boil up and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cook for another minute or so until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Then add orzo to the pan along with the vinaigrette and the spinach and let it wilt down.  I added most of the reserved pasta water , you’ll use as much or as little as you need, I used whole cup of reserved pasta water. Add the shrimp back in and toss well until all the ingredients are well coated. Serve up and enjoy.

Creamy Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce –No Cream Added

This Oven Roasted Creamy Tomato Sauce is just what you’ve been looking for . Perfect Summer Tomato Pasta Sauce made with delicious cherry tomatoes. It’s sweet and creamy without using a drop of cream!!! Love it!! Only delicious fresh ingredients and the only special equipment you’ll need is a food processor!

Should make app. 3 cups of sauce which you can use right away, or put in the fridge for a day or two, or even better freeze for a month and when you’re looking for something to make for dinner –there you have it!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 cups of cherry tomatoes — stems off

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2 Tablespoons of good Olive Oil

1/3 cup fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread Tomatoes single layer on a large sheet pan. Don’t crowd. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with onion powder

Bake for app. 40 minutes , you’ll want tomatoes good and wrinkly

Let cool for a bit then put your tomatoes into food processor

Add the fresh basil, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste in food processor

Blend to smooth and creamy

Use it right away! or put in fridge for a few days or freeze for another time.

Enjoy and say thank you!!!!!!

 

Tomato Time Pasta with Fresh Corn –Summer Pasta

I was going to make my tomato time pasta for the two of us and I was using fresh cherry tomatoes and whole wheat pasta. I had two ears of beautiful fresh corn and I figured how can that taste bad? Corn and Tomatoes are delicious and mixed in with the pasta they were just a perfect summer meal. My original Tomato Time Pasta was posted on August ’14 and that was the basis for this. This is what I did .

Ingredients:

This recipe is for 4-6 servings , I cut in 1/2 for the 2 of us.

1 lb. spaghetti, I like long ropy spaghetti for this recipe , use whatever you like. I also used whole wheat pasta last night.

4 -6 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil — start out with 4 and you might want to add a little more during the cooking process. I used 3 for 1/2 of this recipe.

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.

4 ears of fresh corn–I used 2 for 1/2 this recipe so I would double for whole recipe.

*1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper– we like it spicy but obviously you can use more or less depending on your taste or omit entirely. I used a lot.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes ( app. 3 cups fresh tomatoes) I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and left the little ones whole or use any kind of fresh tomatoes you’d like you’ll need app. 3 cups. The Heirlooms are delicious!

Fresh Basil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Freshly Grated Parmesan — on the table at your own discretion

Directions:

Cook Corn in boiling water for 2 minutes –Bring water to a boil and place corn in water for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with ice water and cool corn down. When corn is cooled off –cut the corn off cob and set aside.

Cook Pasta according to the directions on the box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add salt to the cooking water for pasta.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat — add olive oil then lower the heat and add garlic , cook until garlic is golden brown and not burned. About 2 minutes– watch the garlic –just to soften and get fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper and the tomatoes, and cook over medium low to medium heat. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt at this point –and some freshly ground black pepper about 1/4 teaspoon. Stir together all ingredients for a bit, making sure garlic isn’t burning and tomatoes start to burst and deflate for about 10 minutes. I then lower the heat and let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for at least 15 minutes and last night for 1/2 hour. This is when I added the fresh corn. Let it sit together for the last 15 minutes of cooking.  I even turned off the stove and let it just sit there , i then turned heat back on just before adding the pasta. Taste for Salt and Pepper.  Remember to reserve a cup of pasta water. I added a little water at a time to the tomatoes and corn at a low flame– stirred it in–probably used about 1/2 cup . It will give the sauce some needed liquid. Just stir in slowly don’t dump the whole cup in at once. Next add the cooked pasta right into the pan and stir it all up good. Tomatoes will be smashed up and olive oil will have turned a lovely light orangey red color. Add in the Fresh Basil–I cut it up into small pieces –again this is your choice you can throw it in whole leaves as well. There you have it. Dinner in 1/2 hour.

I plated it up and fresh parmesan was on the table if anyone wanted to use it.

Yum and even more delicious the next day cold out of the fridge.

 

 

 

Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Eggplant and Stringbeans

IMG_1456Here is a new recipe that I tried last night for Meatless Monday. Sometimes it’s good to lighten up the menu with no meat.   I love when I try something new and it’s so delicious that I know it will stay in the rotation all summer long.This is a delightfully light pasta dish with really no sauce just some delicious fresh vegetables and some amazing fresh burrata. Of course you can leave out the burrata and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese or just leave out the cheese all together. I improvised a lot with this recipe please feel free to do the same.

The beauty of this pasta dish is that it would be delicious served hot off the stove or at room temperature. You can prepare ahead , assemble and just let it sit out while you prepare other dishes if you’re serving to a larger group as a side dish.  It was just the two of us so we ate it hot off the stove as our main meal.

We love cheese in our house so we went with delicious fresh burrata. A little sprinkle of fresh thyme at the end and I sprinkled crushed red pepper at the end because I love a spicy pasta.

*Fresh Burrata is a delicious cheese with a creamy interior. It’s like Mozzarella on the outside.

Ingredients:

8 oz. Pasta — I used casarecce because I love that pasta when I can find it. Fusilli or Penne would work just fine — you can also use whole wheat pasta for an extra fiber boost.

8 oz. French Green Beans if you can find them if not use yellow wax beans or fresh green beans –trim them

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil — you’ll start with 2 and you may need a little more this will depend on how dry the eggplant seems while it’s cooking. I used about 2 1/2 Tbsp.

2 cups Chopped Eggplant– I used a regular eggplant and just chopped up into small pieces ( keep it uniform in size) you can use Japanese Eggplant as well. 1 average eggplant should work

1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar

Kosher Salt– I sprinkled about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt on the eggplant and tomatoes but I added more at the end. Salt to taste.

1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper– again to taste

6 oz. Burrata– if you don’t want to use Burrata you can also use fresh Mozzarella just cut into bite-size pieces.

2 Tsp. chopped fresh thyme– of course this is optional but fresh herbs always add a delicious layer of flavor.

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Add green beans for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before you drain the pasta.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the cut-up eggplant and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt , cook, stirring occasionally until tender — about 5 minutes. Add in the fresh garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook until the juices from tomatoes start to release –another few minutes.

Add the wine, cook and stir often until most of the wine disappears. Add pasta and beans, toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta, cooking liquid– a little at a time– I used almost all of it. It depends on how dry the pasta is. Stir in the vinegar and taste for salt and sprinkle that 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper here.

Put Pasta in individual pasta bowls and top evenly with burrata and a sprinkle of chopped fresh thyme. I also sprinkled crushed red pepper on mine at the table.

This should serve 4 nicely even with only 8 oz. pasta as a side dish. It was just the two of us so we ate it as a main and there was left-over which will be delicious cold the next day.

 

 

Tomato Time Pasta with Fresh Corn –Summer Pasta

I was going to make my tomato time pasta for the two of us and I was using fresh cherry tomatoes and whole wheat pasta. I had two ears of beautiful fresh corn and I figured how can that taste bad? Corn and Tomatoes are delicious and mixed in with the pasta they were just a perfect summer meal. My original Tomato Time Pasta was posted on August ’14 and that was the basis for this. This is what I did .

Ingredients:

This recipe is for 4-6 servings , I cut in 1/2 for the 2 of us.

1 lb. spaghetti, I like long ropy spaghetti for this recipe , use whatever you like. I also used whole wheat pasta last night.

4 -6 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil — start out with 4 and you might want to add a little more during the cooking process. I used 3 for 1/2 of this recipe.

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.

4 ears of fresh corn–I used 2 for 1/2 this recipe so I would double for whole recipe.

*1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper– we like it spicy but obviously you can use more or less depending on your taste or omit entirely. I used a lot.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes ( app. 3 cups fresh tomatoes) I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and left the little ones whole.

Fresh Basil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Freshly Grated Parmesan — on the table at your own discretion

Directions:

Cook Corn in boiling water for 2 minutes –Bring water to a boil and place corn in water for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with ice water and cool corn down. When corn is cooled off –cut the corn off cob and set aside.

Cook Pasta according to the directions on the box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add salt to the cooking water for pasta.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat — add olive oil then lower the heat and add garlic , cook until garlic is golden brown and not burned. About 2 minutes– watch the garlic –just to soften and get fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper and the tomatoes, and cook over medium low to medium heat. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt at this point –and some freshly ground black pepper about 1/4 teaspoon. Stir together all ingredients for a bit, making sure garlic isn’t burning and tomatoes start to burst and deflate for about 10 minutes. I then lower the heat and let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for at least 15 minutes and last night for 1/2 hour. This is when I added the fresh corn. Let it sit together for the last 15 minutes of cooking.  I even turned off the stove and let it just sit there , i then turned heat back on just before adding the pasta. Taste for Salt and Pepper.  Remember to reserve a cup of pasta water. I added a little water at a time to the tomatoes and corn at a low flame– stirred it in–probably used about 1/2 cup . It will give the sauce some needed liquid. Just stir in slowly don’t dump the whole cup in at once. Next add the cooked pasta right into the pan and stir it all up good. Tomatoes will be smashed up and olive oil will have turned a lovely light orangey red color. Add in the Fresh Basil–I cut it up into small pieces –again this is your choice you can throw it in whole leaves as well. There you have it. Dinner in 1/2 hour.

I plated it up and fresh parmesan was on the table if anyone wanted to use it.

Yum and even more delicious the next day cold out of the fridge.

 

 

 

Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce (Jewish Girls can cook Chinese Food too)

FullSizeRenderThis is one of my old tried and true recipes. Perfect for a large get together and totally tasty so if you’re in the market for a perfect side dish this Memorial Day here you go.  There are a lot of ingredients but it is very easy to put together and it’s always a hit! I make the sauce a day ahead which I highly recommend doing it gives the flavors a chance to really come together.  I had all the ingredients in the house and day of I will cook the noodles and mix together. If making sauce ahead of time , take it out of refrigerator and let the sauce sit at room temperature before mixing with noodles. I used 1 teaspoon of cayenne, but because I wasn’t sure of everyone’s taste buds for hot and spicy I left out the chili oil. If you want it spicier you can always add some hot chili oil, or more cayenne pepper.  You can actually make the sauce a few days ahead of time. Enjoy this oldie but goodie. I have played around with the recipe a lot, and have found these ingredients work the best for me. I also like to put a little fresh cilantro on the side for those who love it ( like me) and don’t leave out the chopped peanuts they give it that extra yummy crunch. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

1 lb. linguine or spaghetti ( or you can use Chinese egg noodles)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

7 tablespoons Peanut Butter ( creamy ) by the way I always use the low-fat one, it’s perfectly fine

2/3 cup warm water

6 tablespoons soy sauce ( use low sodium)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to specific taste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic

3 to 4 scallions , finely chopped

*1 sliced cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned (optional) but tasty and crunchy

*fresh cilantro chopped (optional)

*sprinkle of chopped peanuts ( optional) but extra added crunch if you have them on hand

*dash of hot chili oil ( to taste) I usually just throw in a dash of this.

Directions:

In a small mixing bowl, using a fork or a small wire whisk, beat the peanut butter together with the water until it is smooth. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt. Beat till smooth. If you’re adding hot chili oil this is when you would add that.

Add the chopped garlic, and stir well. Because I was using it the next day, I left out scallions till I cooked pasta .

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain immediately and rinse under cold water, until noodles are cooled down sufficiently. Place noodles in a large bowl, drizzle with the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and toss well. Refrigerate noodles until you are ready to serve. About an hour or so before I am ready to serve, I pour sauce over noodles and mix well. Make sure sauce has been left out at room temperature for a while till it’s not too cold.  Add the scallions and cucumbers and mix well. Right before serving you can sprinkle the cilantro and chopped peanuts if you like. I pour about 2/3 of the sauce over noodles and mix well, adding more sauce as I feel necessary. I definitely didn’t use all of the sauce that I made, add slowly and taste as you go along.  Right before serving I usually add some more sauce, but leave it out at room temperature. This is a deadly go to leftover the next day.