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Sesame Noodles with Prosciutto

By 8:30 AM , , ,

This is another great recipe from Food & Wine magazine. I've professed my love for this publication before, so I won't get into that again - but let's just say it comes as no surprise that this turned out to be another delicious, quick weeknight meal.

For such a quick meal, this dish really packs in a ton of flavor.  You get great saltiness from the prosciutto, heat from the red pepper flakes, bite from the green onion, savory from the sesame oil and just the right amount of peanuty-ness (obviously not a word, but you get the point!).  I would highly suggest not skipping the cucumber topping - it's coolness in both flavor and temperature are a great complement to the pasta.
The Husband raved about this and said I must put this on the "make again" list.

A few notes:
- The recipe gives the option of using chow mein noodles or thin spaghetti. I used regular spaghetti, which worked just fine.
- The recipe calls for 1 1/2 oz of prosciutto, next time I would probably up this slightly.
- As always, I increased the amount of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Food & Wine suggests pairing this dish with a "velvety, fruity red such as Zinfandel".

Sesame Noodles with Prosciutto

3/4 pound dried chow mein noodles or thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter, preferably natural
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 1/2 ounces prosciutto, sliced 1/8 inch thick, cut into matchsticks
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 Kirby cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into matchsticks

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the chow mein noodles until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the noodles, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the chow mein noodles to the pot and toss with the sesame oil.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the peanut oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring just until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and crushed red pepper and stir to form a paste. Add the stock and stir until smooth; season with salt.

Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles. Add the prosciutto and scallion and toss until the noodles are coated. Add about 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and toss until the sauce is creamy, adding more water as needed. Transfer the noodles to bowls, garnish with the cucumber and serve.

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