Spinach Gomae Noodles with Sesame Sauce

A healthy, delicious noodle bowl with spinach and creamy sesame sauce, based on Japanese gomae.
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This post was generously sponsored by Catelli. As always, all opinions are genuine. Thank you, dear readers, for supporting me in my collaborations with the hand-picked sponsors that keep the Foodess kitchen running! 

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This recipe was inspired by Japanese spinach gomae, which I obsessively order every time I go for sushi. If you've never had it, it's steamed spinach dressed in the most addictive nutty-sweet sesame dressing.  Here, all the components were tossed with noodles - hello delicious, super-healthy, one-pot, 15-minute dinner!

It's no secret that I adore peanut sauce (see exhibits A, B, C, D, and E), and gomae sauce is pretty similar - using sesame butter (I used tahini, which is just ground sesame seeds) in place of peanut butter.

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I used Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains spaghetti for the noodles.  I grew up on their very high fibre Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat pasta, which is super satisfying - it was the base of many of my  mom's comfort food dishes. Now, I use it often in Asian noodle dishes (in addition to mom's spaghetti sauce), because I really love the nutty, whole grain flavour, the awesome satiating power, and the clean ingredients list. 

The Ancient Grains version I used here is made with wheat, quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet and sorghum. They also offer (celiac certified!) gluten free pasta, a vegetable pasta, and others. 

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Here, the hearty noodles are tossed with lots of spinach, and dressed in a delicious creamy, nutty sauce. It's great warm or cold - leftovers make a fantastic lunch. 

I used frozen, chopped spinach, which speeds up the whole process.  It's already cooked, so you just have to thaw and toss it in. To quickly thaw frozen spinach, submerge the packages in a sink full of hot water - they'll be thawed enough by the time the pasta water comes to a boil.

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Gentle when tossing (as I learned the hard way) - the ancient grains are a bit more delicate and I broke some of the noodles in my excitement. It's ok, still deeeelicious. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (340 gram) box Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Spaghetti
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes or Aleppo pepper, plus more for serving
  • 2 (10 ounce/300 gram) packages chopped, frozen spinach, thawed
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for topping

Preparation

Boil pasta in a large pot of well-salted water for 7 minutes, or until slightly firmer than al dente.  Drain spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return spaghetti to the pot.

Whisk together tahini, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, lemon juice and chili flakes in a large measuring cup.  Thin with reserved hot pasta water until it reaches a pourable consistency. 

Squeeze excess moisture from spinach and add to the pot along with the sauce, and gently toss to combine. Cook over low heat until warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. 

Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds and crushed chili flakes, if desired.