Kung Pao Spaghetti

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I’ve been making a lot of quick and easy recipes lately. Usually, they are dishes like sandwiches or soup. Pasta is nearly always quick too. As much as I love to cook, I still need lots of recipes like this in my repertoire.
This is based on the Kung Pao Spaghetti served at California Pizza Kitchen. This is a spicy pasta that gets lots of flavor from peanuts. I started with a copycatrecipe, but then added more vegetables – in this case carrots, green beans, and red bell pepper.
I am sending recipe full of peanutty goodness to My Legume Love Affair. MLLA was created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen has graciously taken over administration of the event, which is hosted this month by PJ of Seduce Your Tastebuds.
Vegan Kung Pao Spaghetti
The dried red peppers in this recipe are for heat and garnish only. Don’t eat them! Small Chinese peppers are the classic ones to use here, but I use Mexican arbolchilies and they’re fine.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, diced
4 ounces green beans, trimmed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 small dried red peppers
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rich tasting vegetable broth
1/2 cup mirin
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
6 green onions, sliced, green and white part
1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil to medium-hot. Sauté carrots for 2 minutes. Add a tablespoon (or a handful) of water to the pan and cover. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add another tablespoon of water to the pan, cover, and cook for another 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in garlic and dried red peppers and cook for a minute. Add soy sauce, vegetable broth, and mirin. Whisk in corn starch, sugar, red chili paste with garlic, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, until sauce thickens and looks glossy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in red bell pepper and green onion.
Transfer cooked spaghetti to a serving bowl. Pour sauce over the spaghetti, add the peanuts, and toss.
Serves 6.

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5 Responses

  1. I have to make this. Looks so inviting. Thanks for sending it to the event…

  2. Looking at the photo, I was wondering about the dried peppers 😉 I like the vibrant color of the dish.

  3. Gosh! the pic just makes me want to grab the bowl out of the screen… When living in US, I used to enjoy Kung Pao chicken at PF Changs.. No good Kung Pao available in UK.. I will definitely make this.. just have to get a few ingredients!

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