In a stunning display of wit, I parlayed leftover bolognese sauce into a bowl of "dan-dan noodles", the beloved fiery Sichuan noodle dish from cheapie Chinese joints. I call put this in quotations because the real dan-dan noodle sauce is made from ground pork (and probably doesn't call for tomato sauce), but, to be honest, you can't really tell the difference with all of the chilies involved.
It did not take much for me to make this at all, as these ingredients were literally all that I had left to work with in my fridge. Chili oil is spicier than you think so start with a little and build on the heat as you go. The cucumber adds a nice cooling contrast in flavor and texture. I ended up having these spicy, chewy noodles with cold leftover red wine.
A leftover portion of bolognese sauce
Instant ramen noodles
Soy sauce or Maggi Seasoning Sauce
Chinese chili oil (or, alternatively, Sriracha or another type of hot sauce)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 a cucumber (optional)
Sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
* I did not have fresh ginger, but if you do, adding freshly grated ginger will definitely give the bolognese sauce more of that authentic Sichuan taste.
1. Start by peeling and chopping the garlic cloves, julienning the cucumber, and chopping the scallions. You can chop the scallions or slice them into long ribbons. Set all of this aside. (Here's a video I found on how to julienne a cucumber.)
2. Cook the instant ramen noodles in a pot of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes until al dente and drain. Drizzle a bit of sesame or olive oil on them and toss so that they don't stick. Then, shake some soy sauce or Maggi on the noodles and toss well to flavor them.
3. In a small pot, heat up a few teaspoons of the chili oil and the chopped garlic until it sizzles. Then add your bolognese sauce. Stir it around and taste. If you want it more spicy, add more chili oil. While you're at it, grind some black pepper into the sauce. Once it gets bubbling hot, turn off the heat.
4. Place the noodles in a bowl and top with the sauce, scallions, and julienned cucumber.