I first learned this recipe while attending culinary school in New England. We made this dish during our 2-week course learning various garde manger techniques and served our wonderful creations each Sunday for an extended brunch. This particular pasta salad stuck in my head because it was so tasty…and popular.
I have re-worked the original recipe slightly to reduce some of the sweetness and increase the flavor of sesame seeds by adding the black sesame seed paste (you can find the black sesame paste in Zürich at Nishi’s Japan Store – if you’re not in Zürich, then look in a Japanese specialty store). I like to use very thin pasta for this dish, like capellini or sometimes spaghetini – although the capellini are thinner.
We’ve also created a variation with this dish using grilled or sautéed shrimp and sautéed bay scallops.
500 gr. very thin pasta (I like capellini or spaghetini)
1 dl. sesame oil
1 dl. black sesame paste
125 gr. rice wine vinegar
100 gr. honey
50 gr. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 Tbl. minced fresh ginger
1 Thai chili, de-seeded and sliced
2 bunches scallions, sliced
1 large red pepper, cubed
75 gr. toasted peanuts
75 gr. toasted cashew nuts
2 bunches fresh coriander leaves, chopped roughly
black sesame seeds
Cook the pasta according to the instructions – make sure to leave the pasta with a slight bite in the middle. Drain the cooked pasta and toss with the sesame oils. Blend together in a food processor the rice wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sliced garlic and minced ginger. Add the Thai chili to liquid ingredients and toss together with the pasta. Add the sliced scallions, red peppers, peanuts, cashew nuts, chopped coriander and black sesame seeds. Toss well together and check the seasoning. Allow the pasta to refrigerate for one day before serving.