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.