Noodles in Peanut Sauce

I've had Thai food on my mind lately. In our CSA box this week we received Thai basil and Thai chilies, and I've been dying to use them. Over the fourth of July I (or rather my eye...) had an unfortunate encounter with a hot chili and have since sworn I will always use gloves when working with chilies. Alas, my home is glove-less right now, so I substituted some cayenne pepper instead of the Thai chilies.

My cooking has evolved over the years - thankfully! I used to need to follow a recipe word for word in order to cook anything. After joining a CSA this year, I don't have a choice as to the vegetables in my fridge! It is so liberating to just open the fridge and make something with whatever I have. This recipe is a perfect example of this. If I would have had flat rice noodles, I would have used them, but I only had linguine. If I would have had coconut milk, I would have used that, but I only had skim. If I would have had peanut oil, I would have used that, but I only had canola. You get the idea. So, feel free to experiment - I did!

A quick note about the fresh peanut butter. I recently discovered that my co-op has a big container of peanuts and that I can just turn the grinder on and out comes peanut butter! Pure peanut butter! No added salt, oil, sugar, etc. While it is a little thick for sandwiches (I usually add some honey to it), it is perfect for noodle dishes.

The peanut sauce is inspired by The Meatless Gourmet (see Tofu Kabobs with Peanut Sauce) by Bobbie Hinman.

Noodles in Peanut Sauce
Serves 3

1/3 box linguine noodles
2 cups fresh green/yellow beans
2/3 cup skim milk
1 small onion
1/4 cup fresh peanut butter
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Thai basil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped peanuts
  1. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add the linguine noodles. Stir so they don't stick to each other.
  2. Dice the onion really small. Add it to a small saucepan with the peanut butter and turn the heat on medium-low. Add the skim milk, tamari, lemon juice, and pepper. Bring to a low simmer. Stir well.
  3. Prepare the beans. Wash really well, trim the ends and snap in half so they are about 1 1/2 inches in length. Add the beans to the boiling pasta and let cook for a couple of minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the beans out and place in cold water to stop the cooking.
  4. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  5. Drain noodles. Add beans to noodles. Pour sauce over noodles. Stir well to coat. Add some pasta water to thin out if needed.
  6. Garnish with Thai basil and coarsely chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

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