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This nutty pasta is a dream

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This nutty midnight pasta is a dream to cook, as it requires just a handful of pantry staples and one pot. Peanut butter (the less fancy, the better) anchors a creamy sauce swathed in umami. Accentuated by a good, salty Parmesan, these noodles recall those cheesy peanut butter sandwich crackers. They make an ideal dinner for one, but the amounts can easily be doubled or quadrupled as needed. For an equally gripping vegan alternative, try swapping out the butter for olive oil and the cheese for nutritional yeast.

Peanut Butter Noodles
• Salt
• 4 ounces spaghetti or 1 individual package instant ramen (seasoning packet saved for another use)
• 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Bring a pot of water to a boil (and salt it, if using spaghetti). Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the noodles and return to the pot. Turn off the heat.
Add the peanut butter, butter, Parmesan and soy sauce.

Vigorously stir the noodles for a minute, adding some reserved cooking water, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the sauce is glossy and clings to the noodles. Season to taste with salt.

Top with more cheese, if you’d like, and serve immediately.
Total time: 20 minutes, serves 1.

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