This is an Asian-inspired dish and if you want authenticity, use Chinese egg noodles. Otherwise, you can use spaghetti, linguine, fettucine, really any pasta. Black bean sauce is made with soy beans, so if you don’t or can’t eat soy, sub with chile sauce or curry sauce, available in the same general area of the supermarket where black bean sauce is sold.

1 lb pasta
2 T sesame oil, or other vegetable oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 2 t peeled, chopped fresh ginger, optional
4 c or so chopped bok choi, stems and leaves kept separate
1 c chicken broth or vegetable stock
1/4 c black bean sauce, or to taste
2 scallions, chopped
fresh, chopped cilantro or basil, for garnish, optional

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Cook pasta as per package instructions or your own personal preference and drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet large enough to eventually hold all the ingredients. Add the garlic and ginger, if using, and sauté until both are fragrant, about a minute. Add the chopped bok choi stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add bok choi leaves and cook another couple of minutes.

3. Add the broth or stock and the black bean sauce. Stir to incorporate the bean sauce. Bring to a simmer. If the pasta isn’t ready, take skillet off heat until pasta is, then return skillet to heat. When pasta is done and drained, add to the black bean mixture along with the scallions. Stir to combine (tongs are handy here) and heat through for a couple of minutes.

4. Serve, garnished with cilantro or basil, if using.