Sesame Tahini Noodles

I'm having a bit of an obsession with tahini at the moment.  I want to put it in and on everything. Of course, it always goes into our hummus, right?  But if your jar of tahini sits in your fridge languishing between hummus feedings, then I'd say it's time to up your tahini game.

As I've been reading up on tahini recently, I've learned that all tahini pastes are not created equal. The very best are imported from the Middle East and are often carried in specialty stores or can be ordered online.

 I really like Trader Joe's tahini, but mainly what you're looking for is a smooth, velvety, loose texture.  You don't want something thick and pasty.  That pretty much means it's not so fresh. You're gonna want to pass on that. 

 Tahini makes an awesome dip (add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper) or salad dressing (here are a couple of awesome recipes for that).  You can even use it to make cookies (think peanut butter cookies without the peanut butter).  I use it as a dressing in this scrumptious farro dish and I love to stir it into brown rice with a little squirt of lemon and harissa (that's also good as a crudite dip).

Oh, but these noodles...

... so very good. You can completely customize them and add whatever and however many veggies you would like to include, or leave them out entirely.  Your call.  Shrimp or chicken would also be a nice addition.  It's really all about the tahini, so here's the recipe...

Sesame Tahini Noodles

Click here for a printable recipe

I didn't make too many changes to this scrumptious recipe other than to switch up the veggies a bit.  I blanched some green beans, red peppers, broccoli and baby zucchini, which made this basically a one-pan meal.  I also swapped out the Sriracha for Harissa which I'm putting on just about everything these days. You can leave out the veggies entirely or add shrimp or chicken if you like.  This is a totally versatile dish that highlights the particular deliciousness of tahini.

Recipe Adapted from Food 52

Serves 4-6

Dressing:
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 cloves)
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha (I used Harissa)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Noodles and toppings: (see headnote)
1 pound dried spaghetti
2 carrots, peeled and grated (I didn't add these)
2 cups fresh green beans, blanched in salted water, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (I left this out)

And I added...
Toasted sesame seeds and a couple of sliced scallions for topping

Directions:

Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta in it until desired toothsomeness is achieved, about 10 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, combine dressing ingredients in a blender or processor and pulse until creamy.

Add the dressing to the warm, drained pasta and veggies and top with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions.