Sesame Chicken & Asparagus Pasta

by Erin on January 17, 2009


The love of my life.

*I received this recipe from a friend of mine, Katherine Fields. I’m not sure where she got the recipe, but a reader informed me that this recipe can be found in the Silver Palate New Basics cookbook, which I have actually never heard of. Anyway, for what it’s worth! Hope you enjoy!

Sesame Chicken and Asparagus Pasta
submitted by Erin

8 oz linguine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar
6 Tbs chunky peanut butter (¼ c. plus 2 T.)
¼ cup soy sauce
scant ¼ cup sesame oil
½ – 1 Tbs hot chili oil (depending on how hot your chili oil is. I add the whole Tb.)
2 ½ boneless and skinless cooked chicken breast halves
5 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted
¾ lb to 1 lb thin asparagus, trimmed
3 scallions, white bulb and 3 inches green, cut into 2-inch julienne
1 small cucumber, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch dice

Cook chicken. (Many options here – put frozen breasts in microwave at 50% power, or boil in water, or cook for a few hours in the crockpot with a cup of water…)
Trim asparagus; set aside. *see note below
Toast sesame seeds, set aside. (Two options: toast in the microwave, stirring every minute or so, or toast in a dry skillet on medium, stirring frequently. They are done when they turn brown. Takes 5-10 minutes.)
Cut scallions and cucumber as directed in ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare sauce: Place the garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, peanut butter, and soy sauce in a food processor. Process for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the sesame and hot chili oils through the feed tube, and process until well blended.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the linguine, and cook at a rolling boil until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again, and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Shred the chicken into 2-inch julienne, and toss with the linguine. Add the sauce and 4 Tbs of the sesame seeds, and toss to coat well.
Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus. They will be done when you can easily insert a thin-bladed knife or skewer into them. Drain, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. **see note below
Place the linguine and chicken in a large flat serving bowl, and arrange the asparagus on top. Sprinkle with the scallions, cucumber, and remaining 1 Tbs sesame seeds.

Number Of Servings:6

* Trimming the asparagus – This is a very important step. Snap the ends off by bending the bottoms until they snap. They will snap off above the white part, and some of the green will snap off too. This is the safest way to trim asparagus. It seems like you are wasting a lot of asparagus, but don’t be deceived! When I was new at cooking I tried cutting off just the white part, or just 1 inch off the bottoms, and would live to regret it! The bottom part of asparagus spears are very fibrous. If you don’t cut enough off the bottom, you will feel like you are trying to chew on a piece of bamboo. It’s horrible. My trusty cookbook by Mark Bittman says, “Snap off the bottom of each stalk; they will usually separate naturally right where the woody part ends.” Take it from the pro.

**Also, I combine the steps of blanching the asparagus and cooking the linguine. 4-5 minutes before linguine is done, I add the asparagus. Then I drain it all when the asparagus is done. I drain the noodles and asparagus once, then add the sauce, chicken, and some sesame seeds and toss. Then I add the scallions, cucumber and remaining sesame seeds on top and lightly toss a bit. I’ve learned to combine steps to make this a faster recipe.



{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tori Maddock January 17, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Sure looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this one. Found your blog from Melanie G. Cute sisters!

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2 Deborah Dowd January 17, 2009 at 11:06 pm

This looks like a great recipe, and easy too! I can’t wait to give it a try!

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3 Melanie Anne January 18, 2009 at 10:39 am

Wow–this looks delish! I will have to try it. I have a recipe like this in my Barefoot Contessa cook book that I have been meaning to make. I am excited to give it a try!

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4 Donna-FFW January 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

Just stumbled upon your site. I LOVE it. Can’t wait to go through it all. This recipe sounds terrific, just like something my family would like!!!

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5 Mindy January 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Brittany and I both bought asparagus this week… maybe I’ll try it. Looks good!

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6 Brittany January 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm

That is so funny you posted this recipe… I was going online to find a good asparagus recipe (since Mindy mentioned we both bought asparagus this week!) haha! crazy! I am so excited to try this – it sounds absolutely AWESOME! Thanks Er-bear!!

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7 Rebecca January 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm

This looks sooooooooooooo good, Erin! Gotta try it soon! Thanks! :)

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8 jaesi January 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I just made this for lunch today and have a question…
Is the sauce supposed to be really thick? It tasted great but I was thinking it would be thinner and there was a lot of it.
I loved the flavors though.
Thanks

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9 Erin February 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Sorry – I just remembered to post an answer about this today. When I make the sauce it’s not really thick. And it doesn’t seem like a lot to me – it coats everything well, and that’s how I like it. But perhaps it could seem like a lot of sauce to someone else? I’m glad you liked it, still! I think it’s wonderful. The only thing that could make it thicker that I can think of is if you used less hot chili oil? I always use the full T.

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10 Hadzters April 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Linda Robinson sent me a link to your blog- she knew you in Arizona-she is my wonderful mother-in-law. Made this for dinner tonight and loved it!!! A big hit with the kids even.

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11 Anonymous July 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

This recipe is taken directly from the Silver Palate New Basics cookbook. It's a fantastic recipe but it should probably be credited accordingly…

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12 Erin July 27, 2009 at 1:45 am

Oh, thank you! I'm happy to give credit where credit is due. :)

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13 Rick April 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Just a comment on prepping the asparagus. TASTE IT. If the asparagus is farther from home than you've ever been then The advice given is very good. If however the tender stalks were grown just down the road and harvested yesterday then break off the first piece and taste it. The bunch I got yesterday, grown here in Chatham-Kent, were so tender that all I needed to discard was the very end which had started to dry.

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14 viagra online June 1, 2010 at 9:09 am

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15 Kristen December 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

In our family, we lovingly refer to the New Basics as “The Bible!” As in “God, this is delish, where did you get the recipe?” “From the Bible, of course!” My sister and I have both had to replace ours twice because we broke the spine. It’s actually a fun read if you are a foodie. Has tons of info about just about anything. But I digress… this is one of my GO TO recipes. Going to a girlfriends house tonight to help her pack to move across the country and making this for her surprise dinner becuase it’s one of her favorites. Another oldie but goodie (and I think this might be from the Silver Palate Cookbook) is pasta with brie, tomatoes and basil. You. Will. Die. Happy Holidays from FoodieGirl in California!!

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