Sesame noodles

 
Sesame noodles
 

Sesame noodles have a reputation for being oily because…well, it’s kind of what sesame oil is all about. Sorry to break the news, but someone had to!

But still, sesame noodles are delicious and really easy to make yourself. Recipes will vary, but this is my take on sesame noodles.

There's no peanut butter in these sesame noodles, just delicious angel hair pasta tossed in a sesame oil and ponzu sauce. Red pepper flakes add some heat, and honey, some sweetness. My twist is roasted peppers which are easy to make yourself while the pasta water boils. 

If you're looking to make a larger meal out of this dish, try adding some boiled and cooled shrimp, or even some crab salad would be nice. You can't go wrong with chicken and sesame noodles either!

Hungry yet? The recipe is below.

Sesame noodles

Sesame noodles

  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, sliced
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce (or soy sauce with a squeeze of lemon!)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • To serve: Thin strips of nori, sesame seeds and finely-chopped parsley

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Toss the sliced peppers with one or two tablespoons of olive oil. Lay the peppers in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the peppers in the oven for 20 minutes until softened.

Meanwhile cook the angel hair pasta according to the instructions on your package. When you drain the pasta run it under cold water to cool the noodles.

Make the sauce by whisking together the olive oil, ponzu sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey and red pepper flakes.

Toss the angel hair pasta with the roasted peppers and parsley. Pour in the sauce and toss again. 

Top each serving with a few nori strips, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and parsley.

Garlic pastry twists

 
Garlic pastry twists
 

I love a good sidekick. The tomato soup to the grilled cheese. The greek salad to the spinach pie. What's a better sidekick to any red sauce dinner than a good breadstick? Ok, maybe a garlic pastry twist!

All you need to do is thaw your favorite brand of puff pastry (is it normal to have a fave brand?) and then layer on the flavor. Garlic butter, nutty pecorino romana and fresh thyme. Ok, dried thyme is a-ok too. I'm not a monster!

So make these next time you're looking to switch up your breadstick game. Or literally just because. Side note: Garlic pastry twists should be the star, not the sidekick. My campaign for garlic pastry twists begins today. 'Till then, find the recipe below!

Garlic pastry twists

  • 14 oz. frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely-grated pecorino romano
  • 2 springs fresh thyme, removed from stem
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lay the puff pastry flat on a floured surface. Combine the melted butter with the garlic and brush the garlic butter onto one side of the puff pastry. Cut the pastry into 15 equal strips.

Place each pastry strip on a lined baking sheet, an inch or two apart. You'll need to bake in 2-3 batches. Gently twist each strip several times. Evenly distribute and sprinkle the pecorino romano and thyme over the twists. Top each twist with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Bake the twists in the oven for ~13 minute until puffed and golden. 

Zucchini carpaccio

 
Zucchini carpaccio
 

Summer squash season is among us! In other words, summer is approaching and soon farmers markets will have way too many zucchinis. You know what that means? They'll be in season (aka delicious) and inexpensive. Win-win! 

And when you see summer squash taking over the farmers market this is the recipe you'll want to make. You don't need to always cook zucchini, instead use it it to make vegetable carpaccio.

Wait, what's carpaccio? Carpaccio is typically a dish of very thinly sliced meat, but instead this recipe uses raw zucchini. Zucchini is delicious raw when it's thinly sliced. A simple vinaigrette, toasty pine nuts and my favorite go-to ingredient, goat cheese, finishes the dish. Sometimes the best dishes the the simple ones, and this one is up there. Recipe is below!

Zucchini carpaccio

  • 1 zucchini, ends trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme, removed from stem
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts 
  • 1 oz. goat cheese

Arrange the zucchini slices on a large dish in concentric circles. 

In a bowl whisk together the white wine vinegar, olive oil, thyme leaves, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the zucchini.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan (or toaster oven!) until they smell nutty, but aren't browning. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the zucchini, then evenly distribute the goat cheese before serving.