Upgrading noodles is a snap with this simple recipe. The sesame garlic sauce takes just 3 ingredients, so you’ll never forget how to whip up a flavorful meal in a pinch!
Search “stereotypical college meals” on Google. Surprised to see that one of the top results is pasta? I can count the number of times I’ve made noodles in college on less than two hands. Just a bit of further proof that I’m not having a stereotypical college experience.
This week I’m making an exception (and would love your company). Don’t get excited, there’s no mac and cheese from a box gracing (if you can call it that) my kitchen. Tonight we’re dining with class. And garlicky breath, because those two go together, right? Speaking of which, one time when I was younger, a kid called me out on having onion breath at tae kwon do. I don’t know what he expected; dinner was heavy on the onions that night. Suffice it to say, that was the end of my raw onion eating phase.
Trust me, no one will be offended by the scent of garlic here. It’s the magic of roasting. With just an oven, tin foil, a bit of oil, and a bippity boppety boop later, the transformation is complete! Your pungent head of garlic is replaced by a golden, buttery, aromatic delight. It’s AMAZING on crunchy toast, but try that another time, because we’re using this batch of garlic for something equally wonderful.
That’s a bold statement, I know. After all, it’s tough to beat toast. I’ve eaten fresh slices of hot garlic bread, too. But have you ever paired roasted garlic with sesame? Because I
think know it’s on par. Some might venture to say it’s even better. Especially if you put it on noodles. With roasted broccoli. Like this.
Thankfully a picture is worth a thousand words, because there aren’t enough to do these sesame garlic noodles justice.
Jump two feet to the left for this quick sidebar. When it comes to pasta, I prefer bean- and legume-based varieties, such as Banza’s chickpea pasta and Ancient Harvest’s lentil pastas. This time I’m using Ancient Harvest red lentil rotini, since that’s what I found in the store. If you choose to go the gluten-free route with me, then make sure to follow the directions on the package, particularly regarding rinsing the noodles or not once cooked. Some types of gluten-free pasta need it because of the extra starches. Also, it’s better to cook the noodles for a minute less than specified, because they often absorb the liquid from the sauce, and no one wants mushy noodles. Head over here for more information on gluten-free pasta.
I can’t remember the first time I ate sesame noodles. Frankly I used to think sesame was gross, so maybe this is my first time. If someone gave younger me a bowl of this, though, then I would have had a reserved seat on the sesame noodle bandwagon.
Since I’m late to the game, can everyone squish together a little to make room for one more? I’ll even share my pasta.
Now that we’re all nice and cozy, let’s talk time. Your laundry basket keeps sending you accusing stares from underneath the heap of dirty clothes spilling onto the floor. A good vacuuming session is desperately needed. There’s no more space in your planner for the things you still need to remember. I can relate. It’s a classic case of the “so much to do, so little time” syndrome. Please note: if you’ve somehow managed to go through life until now without getting struck, please share your secret.
In the meantime, the rest of us will be in the kitchen, putting together the simplest noodle dish that you ever did see. Because we can’t handle stretching ourselves any thinner, not even for the sake of making food. Much as that pains me to say.
See, this is why college students always eat pasta. It just takes so little time! Even though our planners make it look like we’re all drowning in midterms, that isn’t necessarily true. Here’s another dose of truth– even if we’re in college, doesn’t mean we have to eat like that’s the case. Guys, this is why we roast vegetables. Drizzle on some oil, a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Throw it in the oven, slam the door shut, and BAM you’re free to do whatever you please.
If you have one easy recipe and add another easy recipe, what do you get? A classy bowl of flavorful noodles that you can enjoy from the low-key comfort of your couch. Pajamas and fuzzy socks recommended.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
- 3 tsp olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 head garlic
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the broccoli with 2 teaspoon of olive oil and season to taste. Lay out in one layer on a pan.
- Remove the papery skin of the garlic, keeping the head intact. Cut off the top, about ¼ inch, so that the cloves are exposed. Pour on remaining teaspoon of olive oil and wrap completely in foil.
- Roast the broccoli for 30 minutes and the garlic for 40-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package.
- After the garlic is ready, remove the cloves from the skin. In a small bowl, combine the roasted garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth, about 30-60 seconds.
- Toss to coat the pasta. Add the broccoli and scallions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.
- Serve hot or cold. Store in a container in the fridge for 3 days.