Veggie & Broccoli Pasta with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

If you haven’t noticed already, I tend to forget about what vegetables I have lying in the fridge (I know, I need to get better at my grocery shopping and planning!). While this has led to some pretty funky science experiments for mold growth (once I had pink mold!) it has also resulted in the invention of some new favorite meals, such as this addictive vegetable pasta with Thai-inspired spicy peanut sauce. This recipe began with one sad head of forgotten broccoli which I decided to combine with a Thai peanut sauce my husband and I had eaten the night before on a Thai salad (another recipe to come soon!). Because broccoli and peanut sauce alone were not enough to constitute a dinner I added some other stir-fry frozen vegetables and a box of pasta to the mix and violà-one of our new favorite go-to recipes!

I hesitate to categorize this dish under “Thai/Asian” cuisine as it is not an ethnically authentic recipe but instead a prime example of the trending “fusion” classification. The sauce definitely has Eastern/Asian roots with the use of Sriracha and soy sauces while the vegetables and Italian pasta (for gluten-free pasta I love the brand Barilla) bring elements of Western comfort food. I like to think of fusion as the best of both worlds and an amazing outlet for creativity-with fusion cuisine the opportunities for innovation are virtually limitless!

I think that whatever vegetables you choose to include will be wonderful but whatever you do DON’T SKIP THE BROCCOLI! The “fuzzy” heads of the broccoli florets act as the perfect vessel for soaking up the delicious sauce-each bite of broccoli oozes savory, slightly spicy, peanut butter goodness! We recently ate this pasta dish along with a gluten-free baguette toasted and brushed with olive oil and basil and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, sea salt and pepper-a great combination to round out the meal!

The best part of this dish is that it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish but tastes like it took much longer as it is bursting with flavor. I hope this recipe will help you too the next time you find broccoli hiding out in your fridge!

 

Veggie & Broccoli Pasta with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A savory, slightly spicy peanut sauce adds great flavor to pasta and stir-fried broccoli and vegetables. An Asian twist to pasta night!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Fusion
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the Sauce:
  • 1 green onion sliced, white and green parts
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup of peanut butter
  • ¼ gluten-free soy sauce
  • ¼ rice vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • Sriracha sauce drizzle (to taste)
  • oil for frying
For the Pasta:
  • 1 box of gluten-free pasta, such as Barilla's gluten-free penne
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen)
  • vegetable oil for stir-frying
  • fresh basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. Put your pasta water on to boil. Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: fry the green onion, ginger and garlic in a small drizzle of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir and cook for about 5 minutes, mixing well. Turn off the heat and let sauce rest in pan until needed.
  2. Once pasta water is boiling add your pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, prepare the stir-fry: heat a small amount of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the broccoli and vegetables and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender and cooked and yet still crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to low, add the peanut sauce and mix well.
  4. Drain your pasta reserving some of the cooking water if your peanut sauce seems thick. Add pasta to the skillet with the vegetables and sauce and mix well to coat with the sauce. Add pasta water if needed (to help loosen/spread sauce). Garnish with torn, fresh basil leaves.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
*When measuring peanut butter, oil/grease your measuring cup so that the peanut butter "falls" out easily

*If using frozen vegetables (like I do), partially thaw by rinsing several times under hot water before putting into the stir-fry. Vegetables do not need to be completely thawed as they will stay more crisp this way

 

1.Put your pasta water on to boil. Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: fry the green onion, ginger and garlic in a small drizzle of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir and cook for about 5 minutes, mixing well. Turn off the heat and let sauce rest in pan until needed.

2.Once pasta water is boiling add your pasta and cook according to the package directions.

3.While your pasta is cooking, prepare the stir-fry: heat a small amount of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the broccoli and vegetables and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender and cooked and yet still crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to low, add the peanut sauce and mix well.

4.Drain your pasta reserving some of the cooking water if your peanut sauce seems thick. Add pasta to the skillet with the vegetables and sauce and mix well to coat with the sauce. Add pasta water if needed (to help loosen/spread sauce). Garnish with torn, fresh basil leaves.
Enjoy!