Mapo Tomato Spaghetti

This might be the best noodle dish i’ve made lately!! I’ve been on a biiiigg mapo tofu kick lately (like eating it every day of the week kinda big). And with tomato season being at its semi-peak, I felt like the spicy umami flavors of doubanjiang and earthy citrus flavor of sichuan peppercorn would go so well with the sweet tomatoes! And I confirm: they do.

I used:

  • 1/4 lb ground turkey (pork, chicken works too)
  • 1/4 tsp sichuan peppercorn, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • whites of 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 carton of grape tomatoes (~1/2 lb), sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp doubanjiang
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup reserved pasta water

To make:

  • cook pasta per cooking instructions, reserving 1/3 cup of pasta water. i like to cook it 1-2 minutes shy of what i would do otherwise as it’ll continue to cook more in the sauce
  • heat up pan over medium heat and saute crushed peppercorns until fragrant ~1-2 minutes
  • mix in garlic and scallion whites and stir fry for another minute
  • add in ground meat, breaking it up with your spatula, until roughly 75% of it has browned (there should still be a little pink), add doubanjiang and stir
  • add in tomatoes, cook until softened a bit and skin starts to wrinkle ~3-5 minutes
  • add in soy sauce and reserved pasta cooking water and simmer covered on medium-low for ~10 minutes
  • season with sugar and a pinch of salt
  • mix in pasta and simmer until sauce thickens around the pasta