Yesterday it was 75 degrees. My cousin Nikita, Dustin, and I were in the backyard wearing short sleeves, enjoying pints of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company beer, BBQ-ing Cornish game hens to accompany spicy peanut noodles, and listening to the screams of delight that waft up the hill from people riding the Giant Dipper at the Boardwalk. Ok, hold that picture in your mind because today it’s cool and rainy and it feels sort of funny to write about such a summery dish. Now pair that first scene I described with cool noodles tossed with crunchy peanut butter, tangy rice vinegar and lime, sweet & spicy Sriracha chili sauce, and fresh, crunchy veggies. Do you feel like it’s summer? We sure did! As we were chopping the vegetables for the noodles, Nikita and I were laughing because we didn’t have the patience to cut everything into matchsticks. Instead we ended up with small, misshapen vegetable pieces that amused Dustin. Consider it the “rustic” look. We hope you’ll keep this recipe in mind for your next BBQ or outdoor party. We really enjoyed it with a Dry Riesling.
Spicy Peanut Noodles with Fresh Vegetables
(Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray)
3/4 pound spaghetti
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
a few squeezes of Sriracha Chili Sauce
4 carrots—peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, rise with cold water, and return to pot. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, vinegar, red pepper flakes, Sriracha, and a 1/4 cup water. Taste and season with salt.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Add the carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, and scallions, and toss. Serve immediately, or cool completely in refrigerator before eating with your favorite grilled meat. Serves 4 hungry people.