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