Today's recipe is for laghman (拌面), or the Uyghur version of spaghetti without parmesan cheese. In Chinese kitchens, people make the noodles by hand from flour, water, and salt, pulling and twisting the dough into long strings. Homemade pasta is far beyond my cooking skills, but here are some precise directions which includes an instructional video for those more experienced. Fortunately, the sauce is much easier to make, except for procuring garlic scapes (蒜苗)-- found year-round in China, but only during the summer in the States. The recipe was translated from a Uyghur cookbook, hence the vague sense of time in the cooking directions.
Ingredients: ½ lb. mutton (or beef); 4 servings uncooked thick spaghetti (or udon noodles); 1 cup garlic scapes (or ½ cup spring onion); 1 cup mild green chile peppers; 2 cups tomatoes; 1 stalk spring onion; 4 cloves garlic; 2 tbsp. cooking oil; 3 tbsp. hot water; salt and ginger to taste.
(1) Chop mutton into small pieces. Fry in wok on medium heat with cooking oil.
(2) Remove seeds from peppers. Dice peppers and tomatoes. Cut garlic scapes into inch-long segments. (If using spring onions, slice into smaller pieces.)
(3) Crush ginger and garlic. Dissolve ginger into 1 tbsp. hot water.
(4) Meanwhile, boil pasta for several minutes in a separate pot and strain.
(5) After the mutton turns pink, add spring onions into wok. Turn down heat to a simmer.
(6) When the spring onions yellow, add tomatoes and stir until soft.
(7) Add garlic scapes to mixture. Continue stirring to prevent sauce from burning.
(8) Sprinkle salt and ginger, when the scapes are nearly cooked.
(9) Add peppers and garlic with 2 tbsp. (or more) hot water. Cook for two more minutes, then remove from heat.
(10) Serve on top of spaghetti noodles. Use more salt if necessary.