Food & Drink

Rice Noodles With Asian Pesto

In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello -- chef, author and food stylist -- shows busy moms how to make meals using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges. In this episode, Lauren shows Silu N., a mother of two, how to use rice noodles to make a great weeknight meal.

Traditional Italian pesto is a blend of basil, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts. Lauren's version uses Asian ingredients to complement the rice noodles. She begins by adding cilantro, mint, basil, garlic and peanuts to a food processor. (The peanuts give the dish texture and add appealing saltiness.) She processes the mix until the peanuts are chopped into small pieces -- you don't want a paste -- then adds sesame oil, soy sauce and just a touch of sriracha sauce. Then she adds oil in a stream until the mixture blends into a pesto. She pours the mix over the cooked rice noodles and tosses, then seasons with salt and pepper. To make the dish a complete meal, she suggests adding vegetables, grilled shrimp, or even pork.