Cooking With Confidence
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Economical, Healthy, Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Spicy, Vegetarian

Sesame Angel Hair

by Nick

Sometimes I get desperately sick of normal pasta sauce.  Betsy and I eat pasta at least a few times a week and at some point in the week I’ll exclaim, “I’ll put anything in the world on that pasta except tomatoes.”

It’s not that I don’t love tomatoes.  I definitely do.  But a dude can only eat so much ragu.

The sauce I worked up on this particular night has a sesame base and has a delicious, rich flavor.  At the same time though, it’s pretty light.  You can’t really even see it on the pasta, but you can smell and taste it.

I wasn’t sure if Betsy would like my sesame sauce so I just served it with her favorite pasta, angel hair.  I figured that would probably win her over.  Luckily, the sauce turned out to be so good that I could’ve served it on a plate of kitchen twine.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Sesame Angel Hair Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 pound edamame, steamed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Sesame seeds (garnish)
  • Chopped scallions (garnish)
  • Sriracha sauce (garnish)

Directions

1) Mince garlic and peel and grate ginger.

2) Whisk garlic and ginger with soy sauce, safflower, sesame oil, sugar, and chili garlic sauce to make a dressing. Set aside.

3) Steam edamame in the microwave or in steamer until soft. Toss with chopped red pepper.

4) Cook pasta according to package and toss with dressing and vegetables. You might not need all the dressing so add it slowly.

5) Serve warm or cold.

The Sesame Sauce

If you have even a decent Asian pantry, you’ll probably have some of the ingredients for this dressing.  At a bare minimum, most people have soy sauce.  And most people should have rice wine vinegar and chili garlic sauce because those go great in a lot of dishes.

sauce

Basic sauce stuff.

The ingredient that gives this sauce it’s kick though is the sesame oil. This stuff is flavor-packed and a little goes a long way.

Just a few tablespoons will be more than enough to flavor a whole pound of pasta.

sesame oil

This stuff rocks.

Add all your sauce ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk them well to combine them.  I knew this was going to be a winning recipe when I tried out the sauce on its own.

It’s slightly spicy, but its main characteristic is a deep savory flavor.

dressing

Really flavorful dressing!

The Add-ins

You could just toss some pasta in this sauce and call it good, but I thought it’d be nice to give the dish some color with some fresh vegetables.  I just diced up a red pepper and steamed some frozen edamame.

If you can’t find edamame, any pea would work great.

add ins

Great colors.

The pasta

Like I said, I used angel hair because I know it’s Betsy’s favorite and I rarely use it.  You could use almost any noodle pasta for this dish though.  Rice noodles or even spaghetti would work equally well.

angel hair

Betsy’s favorite pasta.

Finishing the Dish

Whatever pasta you decide to use, just cook it according to its cooking instructions.  As soon as you drain the pasta, add it to a bowl and pour in about half of your sauce.

Check out this action shot!

saucing

Action shot!

You might not need all the sauce for your pasta so start with half of it, toss the pasta a bit to combine everything.  Taste it and add more sauce if you think it needs it.  I used almost all of my sauce.

As soon as the sauce hits the hot pasta, an intense sesame flavor will smack you in the nostrils.

Then just stir in your edamame and red peppers and you’re ready to go!

finished

All mixed up.

I served this garnished with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and Sriracha sauce.

garnished

Garnishes are fun.

The really nice thing about this dish is that it keeps really well and is awesome cold.  So it works great for lunches!

In fact, I think I liked this dish better as a cold noodle salad on day two.

If you’re feeling the tomato twinge and need a change, try this guy out!

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21 comments on “Sesame Angel Hair

  1. That looks really good. Would it be good with an added protein–maybe chicken or shrimp? I’m marathon training and try add lean protein in to every meal.

  2. I love it when you post dairy-free recipes! Then I don’t have to figure out how to work around the cream or the milk or the cheese….so this looks amazing and Iwe will be having this tomorrow night.

  3. Nick, what thinks thee about Soba noodles? I have only made them once (I think they got a little gummy) but do you think that would be a good pair? Perhaps you can make this when you and Betsy come for winter carnival!!!!

    1. Soba noodles are awesome. If yours are turning out gummy you might be overcooking them a bit. Also, an important step with soba is when they are done cooking to drain them and quickly toss them with a drizzle of oil (sesame oil works well). That keeps them from sticking together.

      This would work great with soba though.

  4. Hi there! This is very similar to what my Korean mother always called “Korean Spaghetti.” My husband and I still eat this whenever we think of it- and we always eat it cold. We don’t, however, use all those vegetables and I think they would make a nice addition.

    I do have a question for you- your sesame seeds don’t appear to be toasted. Do you toast/roast them ever? That’s the only way to eat them as far as I can figger. ;) They are so much more flavorful that way. They have such a bland taste otherwise.

    Remember! Don’t be flavorfully irresponsible! :)

  5. I am in a rut somewhere between roasted vegetable soups and the same-old pastas, so I’m going to make this soon, it looks and sounds delish. I need to learn more about building a flavorful sauce. It seems like more of my sauces end up bland, or overpowering in some unintended way (too much salt, too much lemon, etc.) so I really appreciate the good guidance. Hopefully some day it will come naturally.

  6. WOW!! That was fantastic. Not only is the sauce great with the noodles, but I am going to use the leftover to marinate chicken for tomorrow!!
    I couldn’t find safflower ( I live in a small southern community where I have to specifically request my grocer order pesto sauce for me) so I used soybean oil. It still turned out great. I added chicken and snow peas (which I sauteed just to warm up a bit). As I am married to an Italian man, this was a nice change for us all, thanks!!!!

  7. Nick, you have me drooling over this angel hair. I’m glad I have Mexican garlic soup finishing on the stove for lunch right now. I will be making this one for sure, love everything about it. The sauce, Sriracha, angel hair….Stumbled it.

  8. Made this a few nights ago! It was delicious, but I added broccoli (which was great, soaked up the sauce well), doubled the amount of edamame (I love my veggies) and found that the amount of sauce wasn’t enough, so I ended up doubling that too. Honestly, I liked the sauce so much that I think I’d make extra even if you don’t add extra veggies!

  9. My hubby loves everything i’ve made from here, but this is his fav! I omitted the edamame and instead added baby bok choy (which the hot noodles wilted to perfection), carrot shreds (maybe half a carrot) and sliced snap peas….oh and garlic ginger seared (and sliced) flank steak.

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