Italians might cringe in horror to hear it, but the noodle originally comes from Asia. In 2005, archaeologists discovered what they believe to be the oldest bowl of noodles on record, dating back some 4,000 years. (No word yet on what type of sauce they were dressed with.) The point being that sometimes a box of fettuccine is just as appropriate for an Asian-inspired meal as it is for an Italian repast. Think of this as a salad, with the noodles sitting in for lettuce. Add some protein and as many or as few vegetables as you like, and toss the whole package with a light but powerful dressing. It’s the culmination of four millennia of noodle knowledge. (Well, maybe not, but it’s awfully tasty.)
Makes 4 servings
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 cup cooked and shelled edamame (optional)
Chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, or chopped scallions (optional)
6 oz whole-wheat fettuccine
2 tsp toasted sesame oil, plus more for noodles
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp chili sauce, such as sriracha
2 cups shredded chicken
11 g fat (2 g saturated)
400 mg sodium
How to Make it
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss in a large bowl with a bit of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to keep the noodles from sticking.
Combine the lime juice, water, peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, then stir to create a uniform sauce.
Add the sauce to the noodles and toss to mix. Stir in the chicken, bell pepper, sugar snaps, and edamame, if using. Top individual servings with peanuts, sesame seeds, or scallions if you like.
Note: The sugar snaps work perfectly fine raw in this dish, but if you prefer them cooked, toss them in with the pasta 2 minutes before it finishes cooking. You can do the same with green beans if you can't find sugar snaps.