Spicy Peanut Pasta

When my mom asked me for the recipe for this spicy peanut pasta dish, I realized that I never really posted the recipe. Considering that this is one of my favorite dishes, I thought that needed to be remedied!

One of my favorite things about it is how the spicy peanut sauce gets collected in the broccoli, so I tend to include what might seem like an excessive amount of broccoli.

broccoli

This is also the first dish where I learned how yummy broccoli stems could be…as long as you peel off the tough outer stem! Plus you can feel very virtuous for not throwing out the broccoli stems.☺️

broccoli stems, onions, and carrots

Sautéing the carrots, diced onion, and broccoli stems in peanut oil helps infuse an extra layer of peanut flavor.

sauteing veggies in peanut oilUsing an immersion blender to mix together the sauce makes it a lot easier. This sauce has evolved over the years I’ve been making this dish to include ginger, garlic, and of course red pepper flakes. It is also a really good dipping sauce to serve with spring rolls.

blending the spicy peanut sauce The red peppers and broccoli florets don’t need very long to cook. You really want them to remain somewhat crisp in the final dish.

steaming broccoli Sometimes the hardest part is mixing the sauce, veggies, and pasta together!

mixing pasta, sauce, and veggies

Once everything is combined, it is ready to serve. You can include red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce on the side for anyone who wants it spicier (usually me)!

spicy peanut pasta served with chopsticksSpicy Peanut Pasta

1 onion, diced
4-6 heads of broccoli (I recommend more because the broccoli is amazing with the peanut sauce)
1 red pepper, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 can (4-6 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 can (4-6 ounces) bamboo shoots, drained (optional)
5 green onions, chopped with white and green parts separated
1/4 cup shelled peanuts
12 ounces whole wheat fusilli, cooked
1 cup pasta cooking water reserved
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced (about 1.5 Tbsp)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1.5 cup freshly ground peanut butter
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
Sriracha sauce, to taste (optional)
First, prepare the broccoli by removing the crowns and separating into bite-size florets. The florets should have as little stem as possible. Remove the bottom of the stems as well as the tough outer peel, then dice the stems.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the white parts of the green onions and saute until softened and slightly browned.
Next, add the broccoli stems, water chestnuts, and bamboo stems, if using. Cook for a few minutes until the broccoli stems start to softened. Add the carrots, followed a few minutes later by the red peppers and cook until the carrots soften slightly. You want the carrots and peppers to be cooked through but still slightly crisp in the final dish.
Add the broccoli florets and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Stir to combine with the other veggies, then cover to allow the broccoli florets to steam.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce together. I find it easiest to mix with a hand blender, but you can mix manually as well. Add a small amount of the pasta cooking water to lighten the consistency, if needed. You want the sauce to be thick, but not clumpy. Taste and adjust soy sauce or lime juice to add saltiness or sharpness. If you want the sauce to be spicier you can add either more red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce.
After the broccoli is cooked but still bright green, add the sauce and stir to combine with the veggies. You may need to add pasta water if it is still too thick to mix well. Finally add the cooked pasta, stirring to combine. Reduce heat, then cover and allow the pasta and sauce to heat through.
In a small dry saute pan, toast the peanuts over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Serve the pasta topped with the toasted peanuts and the green parts of the green onions.
Serves 6, and reheats extremely well for lunch the next day.
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