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For peanut dressing:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 Tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 Teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

For noodle salad:
3/4 pound dried linguine fini or spaghetti
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Make dressing:
Puree dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, and then transfer to a large bowl.

Make salad:
Cook pasta in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water.

Add pasta, scallions, bell peppers, and sesame seeds to dressing, tossing to combine, and serve immediately.

The secret to this Chinese favorite is not to let the noodles sit in the sauce very long â toss them together a few seconds before serving.

Active time: 30 min start to finish: 30 min serving size
Makes 6 side-dish or 4 vegetarian main-course servings.