In an effort not to sound like a jerk, I restrain myself from talking about my relatively recent vegetarianism. But it's relevant here so, brace yourself; you're going to hear about it.
We had a holiday potluck at work, as usual, and I had a brilliant plan: pick over whatever raw veggies and breads I could scope out. Oh wait, did I say brilliant plan? I meant ~moronic plan. But the truth is, you never know what people put in their foods so it's hard to judge some dishes and it's better to be safe than sorry.
Well, as I strolled along the potluck line, I saw some noodles that, to the naked eye, looked simple and meatless. I took a bit and was surprised to find they were quite lovely; spicy, sesame-y and flavorful. I asked around then cold-called (cold-emailed?) the woman in the office that brought them in, asking for the recipe. She was happy to send it over and I giddily went to making them at home. Here's the thing with these noodles, though: they get better a day or two after they're made. The recipe even calls for letting the oils absorb into the noodles for 4 or more hours but overnight, it's even better!
Also, I didn't have roasted peanuts on hand when I made them and it was still delish (the green onions and cilantro are not as non-negotiable, though).
If you have plain sesame seeds, toasting them is just a matter of warming them up in fry pan until they become fragrant.
I love love love these noodles...
8 oz. capellini (or thin spaghetti)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp dry crushed red pepper
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt (may omit)
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1. Cook noodles, but don’t overcook, as they’ll soften with dressing. Set noodles aside.
2. Heat oil, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper over medium heat about 2 minutes. Stir in honey, soy sauce and salt and bring just to a simmer.
3. Toss warm dressing with pasta and refrigerate, covered for 4 hours or more for flavors to blend.
4. Just before serving, toss in cilantro, green onions, sesame seeds and peanuts.