Turning Up the Heat

This time of the year, our days include everything from class plays and field trips to visits with extended family and gardening excursions. Sometimes it seems like taking time to make dinner isn't an option that is on the table. But time isn't much of an issue when a quick pasta dish can find its way from the pantry/refrigerator to the table in 20 minutes. It's even more of a treat when that meal is bursting with flavor:

The vegetables in this Thai-inspired noodle dish were included because that's what I happened to have on hand when I put it together. You can use any combination of vegetables that appeals to your family or that you have waiting for you in your refrigerator or garden. You could also toss in some tofu or grilled chicken or pork to make it a bit heartier. This is one of those dishes that I highly recommend you tweak to your heart's content. Just please share your successes with us!

This dish is simple, but can absolutely be a meal on its own. If you want to toss together a simple salad for on the side, consider adding some crunchy sweet peas to it. Or maybe make some spring rolls ahead of time to make it a more involved dinner that's perfect for mid-week entertaining. The spices in the dish make it bold enough to pair with either red or white wine, so you can even make it a special event without taking lots of time out of your already-busy week. You're welcome!

Quick Thai Noodles

  • 1 lb. angel hair pasta
  • ½ lb. fresh asparagus, cleaned and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 3 ramps or green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. red curry paste
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. peanuts, optional
  • Hot sauce of your choice, optional

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.

While the pasta is boiling, sauté the vegetables in a nonstick skillet. You can add a little fat of your choice, if desired. When the vegetables are crisp-tender (about 7 minutes), add the next five ingredients (red curry paste through olive oil) and stir well to coat and form a sauce. Toss the veggies and sauce with the drained pasta. Serve in bowls with peanuts sprinkled over the top, if desired. If you want a little more heat, you can add a little sriracha sauce or hot sauce.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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