Sweet and Spicy Peanut Pasta Stir-Fry

Sweet and Spicy Peanut Pasta Stir-Fry (1)

My husband, Michael, and I love Thai food. We go out to our favorite small, local Thai restaurants every few weeks. I love to cook and enjoy experimenting with spices and new recipes, but rarely try Thai dishes because they seem too complicated. But this recipe, from the Go Red for Women website, struck me as possible to cook, and it wasn’t too complicated at all! Sweet and spicy flavors mix beautifully with peanuts in a fantastic combination.

If you haven’t worked with ginger root before, you find it in the fresh vegetable area. Buy a small piece (it’s inexpensive) but make sure it’s fairly firm, not bendy, in order to ensure freshness. Cut the brown peel off, and grate the ginger with a regular grater. It is worth the effort because of its sweet zesty flavor. Enjoy!

Ingredients
5 ounces dried whole-grain vermicelli or spaghetti, broken in half
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger root
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional – these add the spice, so skip it if you              don’t like hot spice)
1/2 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups small broccoli florets (no larger than 3/4 inch)
1 medium carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

Preparation
1. Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt. Drain well in a colander. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger root, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the peanuts for 2 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown, stirring frequently. Transfer to a plate.
4. In the same skillet, heat the oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the broccoli, carrot, onion, and bell pepper for 6 minutes, or until just tender-crisp. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked pasta and peanuts. Cover to keep warm.
5. In the same skillet, still over medium-high heat, bring the orange juice mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/3 cup, stirring constantly. Pour over the pasta mixture, stirring to blend.
6. Cook’s Tip: To make preparing this dish even easier, assemble the orange juice mixture up to 24 hours in advance and use cut fresh produce from your supermarket.

Serves four. 1 ½ cups per serving.

© American Heart Association

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