Your Ramen Noodles Deserve The Pesto Treatment

Overview of ramen noodles with pesto and sesame seeds
Overview of ramen noodles with pesto and sesame seeds - johnlck/Shutterstock

All the fresh produce during the summer means we're swapping out our heavy, creamy pasta sauces (like Bolognese or vodka) for lighter, herb-packed types, like pesto. There are a plethora of options to choose from under the pesto umbrella, such as the classic formula with basil and pine nuts to more unique recipes with mint, spinach, and almonds. The same goes for the noodles you use as a vehicle for your sauce. While you can stick to classic, Italian-inspired pesto dishes with fusilli or spaghetti, try something different this year and sub in ramen noodles instead.

Ramen noodles have some of the same qualities you love in pastas like spaghetti or angel hair -- namely, they're long, thin, and perfect for light, fresh sauces like pesto. Plus, their wavy strands give them a leg up in their ability to hold onto your blended herbs. Using ramen noodles also opens the door to incorporating a variety of different flavors and ingredients to give your meal an Asian-inspired twist. And in the summertime, these wavy tendrils bring an extra attractive quality: They only take about three minutes to cook on the stove, meaning you won't have to spend tons of time sweating in the kitchen.

Read more: 26 Types Of Pasta Sauce Explained

Give Your Pesto Ramen A Boost Of Asian Flavors

Fresh Thai basil leaves
Fresh Thai basil leaves - Wanwisa Kaewkrajang/Getty Images

Making a pesto dish with ramen noodles is beautifully simple. Set the seasoning packet in the package aside and cook the noodles like normal, then toss them with your pesto (either store-bought or homemade). If you want to stop your pasta journey here, feel free to pair this dish as-is with a side of salmon or chicken. You can also stir in air-fried salmon or chicken chunks, shrimp, or turkey meatballs, or veggies like cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, and sautéed spinach. However, using ramen noodles also gives you room to get a little more creative.

Instead of throwing away the seasoning packet, sprinkle it over any proteins or sautéed veggies you throw in. Or, use fresh herbs in your pesto like Thai basil, cilantro, and mint with sesame or peanut oil instead of olive, lime juice instead of lemon, and a chili oil or paste addition. In place of pine nuts, incorporate cashews or peanuts, and toss in a tablespoon of sugar if you want some sweetness to balance out all the freshness. You can also throw in a little ginger, fish sauce, or miso paste to cement the Asian flavors. And as a final touch, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.