Ever since Matthew posted this image on his Flickr but one day ago, he’s been getting messages that say “Tell Lauren I need the recipe!” So here you go.

When I arranged the meals for Board meetings at the day job, I learned the trick of creating food that tastes great at room temperature. Some things need to be hot to be flavorful, and other things need to be cold to be safe. Spicy Noodles is tasty tepid and completely dairy-free – good on both counts.

Sriracha is that Asian hot sauce that’s on the table at Chinese and Thai restaurants. I can get a huge bottle of it for under $2 at the local Giant Eagle, so it’s neither exotic nor expensive. It has a really peppery punch that trails behind the pasta in this dish. On first bite, you’ll say “This isn’t that spicy.” Then you’ll swallow, and the stars will come out.

This is a great dish to balance a sweltering summer or heat up a winter evening. Best of all, you’ll have the sauce together before the pasta water boils. Feel free to prepare the sauce a day in advance and combine at the last minute. Just keep the nuts and seeds separate – they’ll get mushy otherwise.

Spicy Noodles
12-16 oz long, flat pasta, cooked – I use udon or linguini
4 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons chili sauce – use sriracha if you like the spice, or sweet if you are a pansy
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons broth or water
1 tablespoon honey
Big handful cilantro, chopped
Handful roasted peanuts
Palmful sesame seeds

If you are feeling really ambitious, toast the sesame seeds and peanuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown.

Here is the beauty of this recipe: Whisk together everything but the peanuts and sesame seeds. Add the noodles and stir thoroughly until sauce coats noodles. Top at the last minute with peanuts and sesame seeds… and Presto Pasta Night! You’re done!

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