Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sesame Spinach Noodle Pie

Flavor alert: If you aren't a fan of tahini, you probably won't like the "Sesame Spinach Noodle Pie" (page 322). But if are a fan, you will immediately fall in love with it! The recipe notes call this an "Asian version of mac and cheese", which describes this to a tee. Cooked linguine is bathed in a rich sauce made of tahini (a lot of tahini!), garlic (a lot of garlic!), miso paste, fresh lemon juice, and cayenne. Cooked spinach is mixed into the noodles and sauce, then everything is transferred to a baking dish, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and baked in the oven. I've noticed many recipes in this book have a "theme of three", using a main ingredient in three different forms. In this recipe it is sesame that is utilized in three of its incarnations: Sesame paste (tahini), sesame seeds, and sesame oil, if you so choose to incorporate the oil into the sauce. Although I will sometimes use a few drops of sesame oil in a dish for that unique flavor boost, in this case I left it out altogether. I felt the tahini was already providing enough sesame oil flavor, so there was no point in gilding the lily, and adding unnecessary fat grams. Use whole grain fettuccini, and omit the oil to keep this McDougall friendly, although it still remains a rich and high fat dish due to the amount of tahini used. Save this for special occasions!

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