What happens when you combine a spicy satay sauce with pasta and veggies? You become the hit at every potluck you attend – as long as you bring Steve Buri’s Thai Pasta Salad. If you have a peanut allergy – move on. This is not the recipe for you. But for the rest of us, this recipe is heaven on earth. Steve likes to make it the night before so the flavors can blend. I love recipes like that. That way I can get ready, grab my potluck contribution, and go. The only thing you need to reserve are the peanuts – toss those in at the last minute so they stay crunchy.
I had to make a small change to Steve’s satay sauce. He uses the peanut butter you buy in a jar – like Jif or Skippy. I prefer using the kind you grind yourself at the market. Because it’s nothing but ground peanuts, it’s very thick. When I made the satay with Steve’s measurements, it was way too thick. So I added a little more soy sauce and some water. Try using this satay sauce on top of a cheese and tomato omelette – unbelieveable!
This is one of those recipes that you can do your own thing. Add more or less chili sauce depending how spicy you like your food. Throw in whatever veggies you want. Blanche them – or not. Use whatever kind of pasta you prefer. The food police will NOT be knocking at your door!
THAI PASTA SALAD
16 oz pasta – such as penne, wagon wheels, bow ties (try quinoa spirals – yum!)
1 cup peanut butter
2 T sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 T soy sauce (I used 2 1/2 T of soy sauce since my peanut butter was thick)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
optional: 2 1/2 T water – I needed this because my peanut butter was thick
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup snow peas, remove string
3/4 cup scallions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 Thai or jalapeno chili, minced (don’t touch your eyes!)
1 block of extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 cup peanuts, toasted (or whatever kind of nut you like)
Marinate the tofu in equal parts of soy sauce and sweet chili sauce( not the same soy sauce & chili sauce in the ingredients list). Set aside. Cook the pasta. Try not to over cook it – you don’t want it mushy. Except for the scallions, I don’t like completely raw veggies so I steamed them for 1 minute just to break down the fibres a bit. Put the peanut butter, chili sauce, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic powder, chili flakes, and water (if using) in a small saucepan. Gently blend and heat over a low flame. Remove from heat once the sauce is smooth. Adjust with extra soy sauce and water to make the sauce pourable – like a salad dressing.
In a large serving bowl mix together the pasta, veggies, and satay sauce. Gently mix in the tofu. This pasta salad can be made the night before or eaten right away. At serving time, mix in the peanuts.
DISCLAIMER: Even though the word ‘salad’ is in the title, this dish is not low-cal. But it’s so good it’s worth, at least, having a spoonful. It’s all about portion control, right?
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