The Week (US)

Internatio­nal noodles: Two crave-worthy weeknight dishes

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The first recipe below is “destined to become a family staple,” said Hetty McKinnon in

To Asia, With Love (Prestel). Inspired by a dish I encountere­d in Japan, where hybrid cooking is executed with “unparallel­ed flair,” it crosses an Italian classic with udon noodles and derives an extra touch of deliciousn­ess from miso.

Everyone needs such dishes that can be thrown together using pantry ingredient­s. The second recipe can be your go-to version of cold sesame noodles. Feel free to use sesame paste or tahini rather than peanut butter. You can also substitute in almost any noodle—even fettuccine or linguine.

Recipes of the week

Cacio e pepe udon noodles

28 ounces udon noodles

6 tbsp salted butter, cubed

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp white (shiro) miso

2 ounces pecorino, finely grated Sea salt

Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil. Add noodles and blanch for about 30 seconds, stirring to separate strands. Drain immediatel­y, reserving about 1 cup cooking water.

Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add black pepper and stir for 20 to 30 seconds, until fragrant and toasted. Pour in about half the reserved water, then add noodles, miso, and remaining butter. Turn off heat, then add half pecorino and season with sea salt. Toss noodles to coat. If noodles seem dry, add more cooking water. Transfer to serving plates. Top with remaining pecorino and, if you like, more pepper. Serves 4.

Cold peanut butter green tea noodles with cucumber

3 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed

7 oz green tea noodles

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

cup smooth peanut butter

1 tsp maple syrup ½-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tsp rice vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper

½ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped 2 scallions, finely sliced

Sea salt and black pepper

Chile oil, to serve (optional)

Halve cucumbers lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Slice lengthwise into thin strips.

Set up a large bowl with ice and cold water. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil, add noodles, and cook per packet instructio­ns until tender. Drain, then rinse under cold running water until noodles are cold; drain again and place in the ice bath.

Whisk together sesame oil, peanut butter, syrup, ginger, garlic, and vinegar. Thin with

cup warm water, or more, until sauce has a pourable consistenc­y. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.

When ready to eat, drain noodles, place in a bowl, pour on peanut sauce and toss to coat. Add half the cucumber and chopped peanuts; season well with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to combine. Top with remaining cucumber and peanuts, scallions, and a few drops of chile oil. Serves 4.

 ??  ?? Where Italy meets Japan
Where Italy meets Japan

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