Tahini, or sesame paste, is a condiment that is made up of toasted and hulled sesame seeds that are then ground to a paste. It's most commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African cuisines. Tahini is now fairly common in the U.S. and can be found in most supermarkets —and health-food stores, in the international foods aisle or alongside other nuts and seeds butters. Like other seeds, sesame has a high-fat content, so after opening a tahini jar stir well to get rid of the oil separation and keep refrigerated to extend the shelf life. Along with healthy fats, tahini is a good source of protein, calcium, and manganese
This paste is extremely versatile and can be used in both sweet or savory recipes: as a dressing for roasted vegetables or salads, in falafel and shawarma sandwiches, to flavor fish and chicken, or as the classic ingredient in chickpea hummus.
In this pasta sauce with tahini, the soy sauce adds saltiness and umami flavor, some sweet honey balances out the acid from the lemon, and ginger, garlic, and red pepper add some heat. The result is a creamy and balanced pasta sauce, great cold or hot.
- 1/2 pound fettuccine (or other wide pasta noodle)
- 1/2 cup sesame paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and grated)
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
- Garnish: Sliced scallions, sesame seeds
Gather the ingredients.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions.
In a bowl, whisk together the sesame paste, water, soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, grated ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes until smooth.
Drain the cooked noodles and toss with the tahini sauce. Top with the chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
Serve and enjoy!
- For a fun variation, try adding in stir-fried shredded carrots and roasted chickpeas for additional flavor and texture.