Sometimes it’s too hot to cook too much, or you want something tasty and zippy and quick to prepare. Those are times when this spicy salad is just the ticket! It takes as long to prepare as it takes to cook the pasta, and it keeps beautifully in the fridge for quick lunches-on-the-run. The original recipe did not include the diced vegetables, but I find they are a great addition, giving the salad that extra freshness and crunch that works so well in summer, as well as upping the nutritional content.
This recipe is vegan and can be made gluten-free by using rice or quinoa (or other) gluten-free pasta, as well as ensuring you use pure tamari instead of soy sauce. Enjoy!
Spicy Peanut Pasta Salad
Quick and zippy
Serves 6-8 (or one teenaged boy)
- ¾ – 1 cup good unsalted peanut butter (not Skippy!)
- 8 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
- 6 TBSP dark sesame oil
- 4 TBSP red wine vinegar or rice vinegar
- 4 tsp sugar
- 2-4 tsp chili paste with garlic
- 6 – 8 TBSP hot water from the pasta
- 1 lb pasta – try thin spaghetti, or rotini
- 1 bunch scallions
- ½ cucumber, more if you like cukes
- 1 bell pepper, your choice of colour
Set some water to boil in a large pot. While it’s heating, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. This might take some muscle power to get to a smooth-ish texture. Add the chili paste to taste. Set aside.
When the water has boiled, cook the pasta according to package directions. When done, keep some of the hot water aside, and drain the pasta.
Add 6 TBSP of the hot water to the peanut sauce, stirring to mix thoroughly to make the sauce creamy. Stir in the pasta, tossing gently to coat completely, adding more hot water if needed.
Thinly slice the scallions and dice the cucumber and bell pepper. Add to the peanut-y pasta and mix in. These veggies are optional, but give the salad a nice crispy crunch, and add to the nutritional punch.