ABOUT THE RECIPE:
With a little bit of spice, a little bit of sweet and a pleasing texture, this enticing peanut sauce pairs well with many dishes, but it is delicious tossed with cooked soba noodles for a quick Peanut Noodle dish.
MAKES 2 to 4 SERVINGS
4 to 6 ounces soba noodles or whole-grain spaghetti or fettuccine
3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter, plus more as needed
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄2 cucumber, peeled and julienned
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the soba. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm.
Meanwhile, put the water, peanut butter, garlic, salt, chili powder, and cayenne in a bowl large enough to also accommodate the soba. Whisk briskly until smooth. Add more water for a thinner sauce, or alternately, add more peanut butter, if a thicker sauce is desired. Whisk again, until smooth.
Drain the soba well and pour it over the peanut butter mixture. Toss gently until thoroughly combined. To serve, spoon into deep bowls. Top each serving with some of the cucumber, optional tomatoes, and scallions. Serve warm, at room temperature, or thoroughly chilled.
You can cook the noodles up to 1 day in advance.