Something about winter screams pantry cooking. Perhaps it’s the arctic temperatures, or maybe it’s the thought of having to trudge through the snow. Whatever the reason, having a well-stock cupboard—that includes sauces and seasonings, and veggies in the crisper make for an easy dinner solution. On this particular night I had some carrots and broccoli on hand. Since it was a school day, stopping by the fish market for some shrimp was no biggie—it’s around the corner. Now I had all I needed to make a peanuty noodle dish.
I’m normally a stickler for tradition, and was going to buy real Chinese egg noodles to make this…except they were $3.19 for an 8-ounce bag. Instead I opted for a one pound box of Barilla on sale for only 99 cents (yes, a good deal, indeed). Next time, I will keep my eyes peeled in case those other noodles go on sale so I can stock up. The other great thing about this dish, besides saving money on inferior takeout, is it comes together mostly in one pot. The same water I used to boil the pasta, was also used to cook the vegetables and poach the shrimp. As a matter of fact, this dish is delicious served at room temperature, so you can even skip the last step and just toss the sauce and cooked ingredients together in a serving bowl.
Noodles with Shrimp, Veggies & Peanut Sauce
serves 4 to 6
1/2 pound dry pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Chili flakes, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 pound shrimp
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, using package directions for al dente doneness.
- Meanwhile, add the peanut butter, sugar, soy cause, sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice and vegetable stock to the food processor attachment on your Cuisinart Stand Mixer. Pulse until combined, and it’s okay if there’s a few chunks of peanuts. Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Once pasta is done, use metal tongs to transfer cooked spaghetti to a strainer, reserving the pot of boiling water. Rinse pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process. Bring water in pot back to a boil. Add carrots and broccoli and cook until tender, but firm, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add shrimp, cover pot with lid and turn off heat. Let sit until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon. Discard water.
- In a large skillet or wok, warm peanut sauce over medium heat. Add cooked pasta, vegetables and shrimp, tossing to coat well. Serve garnished with sliced scallions.