Cool Down With Cold Sesame Noodles and Coppa

The beach just got better. Change up your picnic fare with a mayo-free, pasta-based salad that can be eaten with chopsticks or a fork, cold or at room temperature. Feel free to add some hot sauce or fresh chiles if your crowd can take the heat.

See Cook’s Note for information on sesame paste.

total time: 15 minutes

active prep: 15 minutes

serves: 8

difficulty: easy


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 English cucumber, scrubbed
  • 3 small or 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced coppa, chilled and cut into strips (about 1 cup)

For sesame dressing

  • 3/4 cup sesame paste (tahini)
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

special equipment

  • mandoline or julienne peeler


Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water. Put into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cut the cucumber crosswise into four pieces, then julienne the whole cucumber, avoiding the center core of seeds (discard the core) and place in bowl with spaghetti.

Julienne the carrots and put them into the same bowl. Add the sliced scallions and coppa.

For the sesame dressing

Whisk the sesame paste, peanut butter, water, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil a medium bowl until smooth. (Makes about 2¼ cups.) Pour the sesame dressing over the spaghetti and vegetables and toss well with tongs. Can be eaten immediately, or chilled until needed.

Cook’s Note

Sesame paste, a Mediterranean condiment, is also known as tahini. The oil and paste are separated when purchased. Before using, stir slowly until emulsified — this will take a bit of time and patience.

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