Spaghetti dish gets vegetarian, Asian twist
A love affair with noodles, food writer Dana McCauley explains cheerfully, began when the noodle houses of downtown Toronto stole her heart a few years ago.
That devotion led to her book, "Noodle Express" (Firefly, 1999, $14.95, paperback), a collection of meatless recipes. A classically trained chef and the daughter of a beef farmer, she's not a vegetarian in the traditional sense, she explains.
But she wanted to eat less meat, and was tired of pasta with tomato sauce and cheese, and experimenting with cooking noodles was her answer.
The repertoire of recipes she developed is reflected in this book, subtitled "Fast and Easy Meals in 15 to 45 Minutes."
The recipes include a wide range of influences from world cuisines, and lots of lively flavor, all within the reach of most American cooks.
"If you want great Asian taste without having to forage for unusual ingredients, this recipe is for you," is how she introduces the following spaghetti dish.
Spicy Spaghetti and Vegetable Toss
- 14-ounce can baby corn, drained
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken, for nonvegetarians)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger root
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, cut into chunks
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow or orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Halve corn cobs lengthwise. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain well and reserve.
In bowl or measuring cup, whisk 1/2 cup of the stock together with tomato paste, ginger, ground coriander, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, mustard seeds, vinegar and cayenne pepper.
Heat vegetable oil in wok or deep skillet set over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Increase heat to high and add remaining stock, broccoli and garlic; bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or until broccoli is bright green and stock is almost evaporated. Stir in yellow pepper and corn; toss to combine.
Push vegetables up sides of pan to create a well. Stir stock mixture and pour into pan; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir vegetables into sauce; add noodles and cook, tossing to combine, for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.