Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Laab with Pasta

As is the theme with all my May recipes, this is another good swim practice recipe.  It is made quickly and there's nothing complicated about it.  It is good energy for the kids with some pasta to help hold them over to breakfast.

When I first read this recipe, I was a little unsure--turned out it was great.  My budding vegetarian wasn't a fan of this, but the other kids liked it fine.  I am learning the key to different eaters is not mixing everything all together at the end.  I served the laab in one dish and the angel hair in the another and everything worked out.

This serves 5.

Laab with Pasta
adapted from Food and Wine

1/2 lb angel hair pasta
1 T olive oil
1 T sesame oil
1/2 c sliced almonds
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced (optional)
1 t minced, fresh ginger
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 c fish sauce
4 scallions, including green tops, chopped
1 c coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/4 lime juice plus 1 lime cut into wedges

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions.  Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.  Transfer to a serving dish.

In large pan, toast the almonds over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes (I find the best way to test nuts for doneness while toasting it to smell them.  Once they develop a rich, fragrant smell, they are usually ready to remove from the pan).  Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.  

Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium high heat.  Add half the jalapeño, if using, ginger, beef, and a teaspoon of salt.  Cook the meat, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon, until brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan from heat and stir in the sesame oil, fish sauce, scallions, mint, and lime juice.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

To serve, put pasta on plates and top with beef mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining minced jalapeño, if desired, sliced almonds and serve with lime wedges.  

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