When you’re a mom to picky children — or in my case, a wife to a very picky husband — you learn to play with the ingredients they love to eat. My husband is a big noodle fan (soba, Thai and rotini, especially), so instead of trying to force him to eat the creamy Marsala I made, I whipped up a few noodle-centric recipes mixed with a few of my favorite ingredients. Total win-win, right?
Instead of regular spiral noodles with vodka sauce (which is his bachelor go-to), I made some fancy, updated noodle recipes with other things he loves, like sesame chicken and red pepper sauce over angel hair pasta. Even though he picked off the mussels and shrimp, he raved about the rest of it. I mean, you can’t change them overnight, after all.
1. Sesame chicken and hoisin soba noodles recipe
This quick and easy chicken dish is made with precooked soba noodles to save time when you’re busy.
- 1 pound chicken thighs (with skin and bones)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces soba noodles, cooked
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley, divided
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the onions, carrots and mushrooms, and cook until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the mix from the pan.
- Liberally sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Add the chicken, and cook until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetables, water, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds and 1/4 cup of the chopped herbs. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 6 more minutes.
- Using tongs, mix in the soba noodles, and coat them with the sauce. Serve with additional sesame seeds and the remaining herbs.
2. Angel hair pasta with red pepper sauce and mussels recipe
Canned tomatoes and cooked angel hair pasta make this dish an easy and delicious one to make any day of the week.
Adapted from My Recipes
- 3 pounds fresh mussels
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow and red peppers
- 1 (14 ounce) can basil and roasted garlic tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped basil and parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, marinara sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk in the white wine.
- Add the mussels, chopped herbs and crushed red pepper. Cover, and let simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the mussels open.
- Serve over the cooked pasta, and garnish with additional herbs and Parmesan cheese.
3. Quick Thai coconut curry shrimp bowls recipe
This quick meal is made even easier with softened Thai noodles and cooked shrimp.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and stems removed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1-2/3 cups coconut milk
- 8 ounces softened Thai red rice noodles
- Chopped peanuts
- Fresh basil
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the onion, lemongrass, chopped red pepper and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, and mix well.
- Add the shrimp, fish sauce, honey and coconut milk. Mix in the softened Thai noodles. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 12 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the noodles are soft.
- Serve with chopped peanuts and basil.