Black Sesame Noodles ♥

Today's quick supper or side recipe: Pasta tossed with an Asian-style sauce of garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, peanut butter, soy sauce. Weeknight quick. Vegan. Low carb (with low-carb pasta). Weight Watchers 5 points.

Who else is prone to this?

Day One. Spy a recipe calling for some obscure (to us) ingredient, fun! Take note.
Day Fifteen.
Spot the ingredient in a grocery. Hey! that's what such-n-such recipe called for. Bring it home, add it to the pantry, middle shelf, front row, right in plain sight.
Days Sixteen to Sixty. Life.
Day Sixty-One. Spy the ingredient again, this time at the back of the pantry during the quite-successful-so-far ambition to actually use , not just store, the pantry's contents. Wonder, Now what recipe was that for?

Welcome to my life. And say hello to the black sesame seeds purchased last fall for some now-forgotten recipe but much welcome in this pasta sauce from a brand-new cookbook, Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, a Christmas surprise from my pal Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.

I loved-loved-loved the sauce -- on the pasta but also, leftover, massaged into another kale salad, my latest daily obsession (at least it's a healthful obsession!). The recipe called for grated radish and cucumber (and carrot which I was out of) so I was expecting a colorful plate. But both looks- and taste-wise, the vegetables somehow disappeared into the pasta, which is perfect of course for sneaking vegetables into a diet. But me, I'd be tempted to skip the vegetables, then serve this pasta as a side dish with a protein and a leafy green vegetable.

To my taste, what's special about this recipe is the great sauce, more than the sauce-pasta-vegetable combination.

WHOLE WHEAT PASTA This is my first time to try whole wheat pasta and honestly, I was unimpressed. It was tough and sticky and didn't offer up the expected nutty flavor. Others are raving about it, so perhaps some brands are better than others? I'd love a recommendation. In the mean time, I'm sticking to the low-carb / low-glycemic Dreamfields Pasta, also recommended by Kalyn!

Note to Vegetarians

~ Sautéed Broccoli with Toasted Garlic, Orange & Sesame ~
~ Carrot & Sesame Salad ~
~ the oh-so-gorgeous Armenian Tahini Bread ~

~ more sesame seed recipes ~

~ one year ago this week, Creamy Spinach with Beets, an expected combination ~
~ two years ago today, Eggplant Lasagna ~


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 8 (if allowing 2 ounces pasta per serving) or 4 (if allowing the standard 4 ounces per serving)

1 pound pasta (recipe called for fresh linguine, I used whole wheat linguine)

VEGETABLES (what the recipe called for)
1/2 an English cucumber, skin on, grated large
1 carrot, grated large
4 radishes, grated large

SAUCE - enough for 1 pound of pasta
1/4 cup black sesame seeds, toasted in a small skillet (carefully! don't let them get away from you and burn them!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (I used ginger from a jar, from an Asian market)
2 garlic cloves (I used 3 large cloves and loved the garlic-y-ness
Hot red pepper flakes - the recipe called for 1 teaspoon, I used just a sprinkling

Fresh chopped cilantro, to garnish
Few reserved toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Cook the pasta in well-salted water. Drain in a colander and return the pasta to the hot pan.

Meanwhile, grate the vegetables, either by hand or in the food processor.

Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

In the hot pan, toss the hot pasta and sauce. Stir in the vegetables. Transfer to plates. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Since the food processor out to make the sauce, I also used it for the vegetables.
The sauce can easily be made ahead, that would further speed the time-to-table on a weeknight.
If you have an electric tea kettle, use it to boil the water for the pasta. Very quick!
The recipe says that white sesame seeds can be easily substituted and I found little difference in taste.
In addition, it was hard to gauge how the dark-colored sesame seeds were toasting -- it would be easy to burn them, I suspect.
The sauce makes enough for a pound of pasta. Since "my definition" of a serving of pasta is only two ounces per serving, that means there's enough sauce for 8 servings.
LEFTOVERS While the sauce will keep over, I don't recommend 'dressing' the pasta to reheat later, especially if using the grated vegetables.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I looked up the recipe right after you told me you liked it and bookmarked it to try myself. (That's as soon as I get some black sesame seeds.) And yes, my pantry is full of those "needed" ingredients, most of which I do eventually get around to trying.

    I do really love this book! Hooray for Jack Bishop.

  2. I find things hidden in the pantry all the time -- including black sesame seeds, which I often use for garnishing a platter of vegetable sushi. I agree about whole wheat pasta -- I have yet to find one I like. Dreamfields is a better option.

  3. I recommend Tinkyada brand brown rice noodles - they are whole grain and gluten-free but taste like normal noodles to my gluten-eating fiancé (except you don't feel as heavy afterwards). They come in a variety of shapes, and I've even seen them at normal grocery stores in the health foods section. Give them a shot; I know that SusanV of Fat Free Vegan likes them.

  4. Ha! I have those ingredients that I can't remember why I bought them. The current mystery is annato seeds; I can't imagine what I was thinking!

    About the pasta, as ~M said, I have liked the Tinkyada brown rice pasta (though last night I used the spirals and had them fall apart on me--not lovely). But some ww pasta is better than the others. Avoid anything from the supermarket; I haven't had a good one yet that came from a mainstream grocery store. Bionaturae, at the health food store, is better, and if you can get spelt pasta (can't remember the brand), it's excellent.

    Weight watchers has set me free to have pasta again, though I'm only doing it once a week, so I'm having fun discovering which brands I like.

  5. I like Barilla whole-grain pasta - might not be totally whole wheat, though.

    Yes, one of these days I will clean out my pantry and make a whole world of global sauces/condiments
    /dressings/you name it.

  6. You got it just is full of day 61's. I am hoping that using will help unite the recipe with the ingredient. Actually, for me the problem is eggplants. At least black sesame seeds (and black rice and...) won't go bad. Now if I can just find those black sesame seeds I'll try that sauce. Susan G (my daughter has hijacked my "identity")

  7. Hi,
    I use the Trader Joe's whole wheat pasta. The first time I made it, DH said he hated it. Then I went back to regular pasta. And then I would alternate and not tell him which pasta I was using. He NEVER knew the difference. Now all we use is the TJs whole wheat.
    Jane of

  8. Black Sesame Seeds! That reminds me of the "Black Pearl Layer Cake" on Epicurious you suggested so long ago. The recipe was based on truffles from Vosges Chocolate and was wonderful fun to try! It called for black sesame seeds, wasabi powder and fresh ginger. I'm sure I still have the black sesame seeds and the wasabi powder I found at a great local Asian market.

    One thing does lead to another. From a healthful pasta recipe back to cake and truffles. I feel positively inspired for Valentine's Day!

    Thanks for the idea about black sesame seeds. Now, any ideas about what to do with the wasabi powder?

  9. My cabinet is full of that sort of ingredient. The trick, of course, is to use them before they go bad.

    As for WW pasta, I second the vote for Trader Joe's. It's cheaper than most WW pasta and doesn't fall apart the way I found Bionaturae's does. It's also delicious; we use it all the time.

  10. Oh, I fall prey to the exotic ingredient trap far too often.

    If I may... perhaps you got these for black sesame seed asparagus?


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna