Szechuan pasta salad with hot pepper vinaigrette
Adjust the amount of hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper in the dressing for this Asian pasta salad to make it mild or fiery.
8 ounces bow tie pasta (farfalle)
3 cups broccoli florets
1 ½ cups (about 4 ounces) snow peas
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, preferably toasted
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (Tabasco sauce), or to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
To complete the recipe
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3 scallions, cut into ½-inch-long pieces
Garnish (optional): toasted pine nuts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the bow ties. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, or according to package instructions, until al dente. While pasta is cooking, blanch the broccoli and snow peas. Also, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.
When the pasta is done, drain and rinse well in cold water, then drain again.
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add the broccoli, snow peas, bell pepper, and scallions; toss. Add the vinaigrette and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
This salad will keep for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. (It's best to refrigerate the dressing and salad separately; toss together up to 1 hour before serving.)
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.