Sesame Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

5 tablespoons sesame seeds
8 ounces uncooked linguine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot chili oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked
1 pound think asparagus, trimmed
3 scallions, white bulb and 3 inches green, cut into 2-inch julienne
1 small cucumber, halved seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange sesame seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Shake the pan once or twice so that they brown evenly. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the linguine and cook until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again, and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Place garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, peanut butter and soy sauce in food processor and process for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the sesame and hot chili oils through the feed tube. Process until well blended.

Shred the chicken into 2-inch julienne and toss with the linguine. Add the sauce and 4 tablespoons of the toasted sesame seeds and toss to coat well. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water and pat dry.

Place the linguine and chicken in a large flat serving bowl and arrange the asparagus on top. Sprinkle with scallions, cucumbers and remaining sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 6 servings


Cooking with Brown Sugar: 51 Recipes

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