I literally ate my words. The dish arrived and it smelled AMAZINGGG and looked mouth wateringly delicious. I stared down at my now rather pathetic looking salad and desperately wished I had ordered the Kung Pao Spaghetti. Luckily for me, Dan wasn’t too hungry that day (and forgave all of my make fun of’s) and I ate, not kidding, half his plate (plus my own salad but that’s besides the point).
It was SOOOO GOOOOOOD!!! I know the name sounds bizarre but I couldn’t get enough of it. The sauce was unbelievable and the lightly roasted peanuts and big chunks of green onion added a nice crunchy texture. For weeks afterwards I was still dying for another bite.
Ergo, Copycat CPK’s Kung Pao Chicken Pasta! I researched for days and looked at numerous recipes to make sure I’d get it right. I did make a few changes to tailor it and to expedite the process a smidge. Other recipes have an egg and cornstarch mixture to add to the chicken, which I went without and I couldn’t even see slash taste the difference. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes start to finish! You just have to try this. Trust me. And kudos to California Pizza Kitchen for surprising a seasoned veteran!
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
For the Pasta:
- 1 lb linguini
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces, seasoned with coarse salt and ground black pepper.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10–15 whole Chinese dried red chili peppers
- 1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 cups green onions, diced into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook linguini according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and, stirring, brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Pour in sauce mixture and heat until thickened.
- Add the peanuts, red peppers and green onions and, while stirring, cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the cook pasta and linguini. Stir until completely combined and everything is heated through. Serve immediately.