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Mary Alice's Sesame Noodles

Mary Alice Gorman of Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont says this is the only recipe she can cook while talking to culinary mystery writers like Diane Mott Davidson at the same time. This makes a nice first course for a meal when served cold. She loves to serve it warm -- but not hot -- for dinner with a salad of fresh fruit tossed with the honey on a bed of greens.

1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
1/3 cup sesame oil (substitute 1 tablespoon of chili oil for the same amount of sesame oil, if desired)
1 tablespoon olive oil
15 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups unsalted peanuts, dry-roasted, chopped
1 cucumber, julienned

Cook pasta according to package directions. (She favors whole wheat capellini broken in half for best results.)

Mix together the sesame and olive oils. Toss pasta with half of the oil. Slowly saute the scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger in the remaining oil. Blend together vinegar, honey and soy sauce. (For honey, she likes to use the Thistle Dew Farms variety that is flavored with chili peppers; 800-85HONEY.)

Mix pasta into saute mix and toss with liquids.

Toss with herbs and peanuts.

Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro, 1/2 cup peanuts and cool cucumbers.

The dish that results from this recipe is lighter than many noodles that are made in a peanut butter mix, and the flavors are brighter and more memorable.

This can be made more healthful by reducing oil, using salt-free soy sauce and reducing the amount of peanuts.

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes.

Serves 8.

Sunday, April 23, 2000

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