I'm always up for trying new pasta recipes and I love peanut sauce, so the recipe in The Clueless Vegetarian for "peculiar peanut pasta" was something I had to try. So far I've tried the tzatziki and crepes recipes from this cookbook and both turned out well. Most of the recipes in The Clueless Vegetarian seem, well, aimed at the clueless vegetarian. It seems like a great beginner cookbook, covering all the bases of vegetarian cooking.
This dish was easy enough to make and turned out well. The sauce is thicker than other peanut sauces I've made, and uses buttermilk (which I had no idea was good for you). I definitely recommend adding vegetables or other nuts to the pasta to make it something more special, and more balanced. I only added snow peas and cashews, but other things I'd like to add are carrots, broccoli, chopped peanuts, almonds, bell peppers, zucchini, and water chestnuts. Mmm I love the crunch of water chestnuts.
Peculiar Peanut Pasta
(Adapted from The Clueless Vegetarian by Evelyn Raab)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely chopped onion*
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp finely grated ginger root
2 green onions, sliced
1 tsp Chinese chili paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 lb (250 g) fettuccine
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring until the onion is softened - 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the green onions, chili paste, soy sauce, coriander and cumin, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter, stir until smooth,t hen add the buttermilk or vegetable broth. Heat through. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more buttermilk or broth to thin it until it is pourable.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until tender but not mushy. Drain well. Toss the sauce with hot cooked pasta.
*I'd use more onion next time.
My general note: I recommend steaming or parboiling the vegetables you're going to use, which you could do in the water you use to boil the pasta in before cooking the pasta.