Thai Peanut Pasta

vegan Thai peanut pastaMy friend Ramona brought this to my surprise birthday potluck a few years ago. It was my first taste of Thai peanut cuisine - previously, I had always wrinkled my nose at pairing peanut butter with anything but jelly - and I was pleasantly surprised! This version tones down the spice somewhat and takes out the soy, but keeps the same robust flavor. It sounds exotic so it seems intimidating to make, but it's actually one of the quickest, easiest recipes I've made in a long time.

Makes: 4 servings


Allergen Alert: This recipe contains peanuts and coconut.

If you don't need this to be gluten-free, you could substitute regular or whole wheat spaghetti for the brown rice noodles.

If you don't need this to be soy-free, you could substitute soy sauce for the coconut aminos, but start with half as much and add slowly to taste.

If you like things spicier, add a little chili oil or crushed red pepper. The original recipe included 1-2 teaspoons chili oil. (Tina, go for 2. :)

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Ingredients & Directions

  1. Cook the spaghetti.
    • 16 oz. GF spaghetti noodles
    • Water for boiling noodles
    • NO salt, even if the package says to use it
    In one medium pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente (just barely done, not too soft). For GF pasta, immediately drain and rinse it with cold water when the cooking time is done. Set aside if it's done before the sauce is done.
  2. Cook the sauce.
    • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro - chopped tiny
    • 3/4 cup coconut aminos
    • 3/4 cup to 1 cup unsweetened peanut butter
    • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
    • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
    • 1.5 teaspoons minced/crushed garlic
    In the second medium pot, combine everything but the noodles. Stir until the peanut butter melts completely (no lumps!) and everything is evenly mixed and smooth. It will look evenly mixed (like soup) pretty quickly, but that's not enough. Keep stirring until all those lumps melt and it's smooth and somewhat thicker, more like frosting.
  3. Combine.
    Add the pasta to the sauce (or the sauce to the pasta, whichever pot has more room) and stir until evenly mixed. Enjoy!

    This recipe freezes well, or keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple days. Either way, it should be enjoyed hot.

Source: Adapted from my friend Ramona's family recipe for Thai Peanut Pasta. Thanks, Ramona!