Friday, March 13, 2015

Penne Rigate with Asparagus and Sesame-Chile Shrimp #bookgiveaway

By Leslie Budewitz

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of ASSAULT AND PEPPER!

From ASSAULT AND PEPPER -- first in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, March 2015

“The ice bag slid off my foot and I wriggled it back in place. The loft door opened and Reed walked in, followed by his father, carrying a worn black medical bag. Behind him came Laurel and Tag, lugging a basket of familiar white take-out bags.

“Am I throwing a party and didn’t know it?” I asked.

Bags were set down, kisses exchanged, inquiries made.

“My son said you needed help.” Ron Locke gestured toward my ankle. He had the same unruly black hair as his son.

Reed shrugged. “Can’t have you on the sick list. Not while there’s a killer on the loose.”

Five minutes later, I was pinned down good, acupuncture needles ringing my ankle. In the kitchen, Tag and Laurel unpacked her bags and opened wine. A tossed salad and penne rigate with shrimp, asparagus, and a sesame-chile sauce. Warm, herby aromas drifted through the loft.

Laurel took pity on me and brought me a salty, crusty Parmesan breadstick, one of my very favorite foods, and a glass of white wine.”

No caterer on call? No matter! At Ripe, Laurel makes this with penne rigate, the short, ridged tubes, but the thicker-ridged rigatoni or farfalle, better known as bow ties, also work well.

This is an easy salad to serve warm or at room temperature, and requires very little shopping. Pepper keeps a small jar of grated ginger in her fridge for emergency cravings. If you like a little more heat, use hot sesame chili oil.

Penne Rigate with Asparagus and Sesame-Chile Shrimp

¼ cup white or brown sesame seeds, toasted
1 pound penne rigate
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut in ½-inch pieces (if asparagus isn’t available, substitute  broccolini)
¼ cup peanut butter (chunky or fresh-ground)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup hot water
1 pound medium shrimp, tail-off, cooked
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips (“julienne”)
4 green onions, thinly sliced and cut into 3-inch pieces
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (divided use)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes. Don’t overbake; they will continue to brown a bit as they cool.

Cook and drain the pasta. During the last minute of cooking time, add the asparagus. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Add the hot water and stir—a fork or small whisk works best—until the sauce is smooth, breaking up any chunks.

Pour the pasta into a large bowl for serving. Add the shrimp, red bell pepper, green onions, and ¼ cup of the cilantro. Add the sauce and mix to combine all the ingredients. Top with the remaining ¼ cup cilantro and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 6 to 8.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of ASSAULT AND PEPPER!

From the cover of ASSAULT AND PEPPER:

Pepper Reece, owner of the Seattle Spice Shop, thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars.

But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on her doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest Tory Finch, one of Pepper’s staffers, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…


ASSAULT AND PEPPER, March 3, 2015 (Berkley Prime Crime)
ISBN-13: 978-0425271780

Leslie Budewitz is the only author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction—the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, for Death al Dente (Berkley Prime Crime), first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, and the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction, for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books). She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Coming in July 2015: BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries!

Connect with her on her websiteon Facebook, or on Twitter .


  1. Sounds yummy! I will definitely be making this! Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. The dish looks so good! Thank you for the recipe.
    Assault and Pepper sounds like a great cozy, and I have it on my TBR list.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Love the first one & looking forward to this one. The spices make me want a scratch & sniff page at the end of the book! Might not work on digital ones. The recipe sound great except for the shrimp. I've never cared for shrimp even though I live on the Gulf. Thank you for the giveaway.

  5. And, of cores, I left off email.


  6. Would love to win this as it's on my wish list. Ruth Nixon

  7. Thanks to you all -- keep 'em coming!

  8. I've been trying to win this every time I see an opportunity.

  9. Excellent recipe; and I would love to read the book!

  10. You had me at shrimp! Love a new series.

  11. This sounds so yummy and the book sounds great.

  12. Another delicious recipe (although I believe we'll substitute chicken for shrimp based on allergic child). So want to read this book. It's on my the wish list!

  13. Looking forward to your new series.

  14. Recipe looks delicious. Can't wait to read the book. Thanks for the giveaway. Kuzlin at

  15. This looks like such an entertaining read! Thanks for the opportunity!

  16. Looks like a good read!

  17. The food in this book sounds fantastic. I'm wanting to make the salted oatmeal cookies. Mmmmm llcejka at gmail dot com

  18. Shrimp, asparagus and mystery, one if my favorite combos!

  19. I love pasta and asparagus; thanks for the recipe, looks easy.

  20. This sounds so good. I am making it asap.

  21. Both the recipe and the book sound wonderful. bevarcher AT me DOT com

  22. Oh to have friends who bring food when I'm sick or injured. Pepper is so fortunate. I'd love to win and am anxious to read the book.

  23. Sounds delish! Thanks for the contest!!

  24. Thanks for the giveaway and recipe! Looks like a great read!

  25. I think this sounds like dinner this weekend, and I'd love to win the book!

  26. I love to read books like this that include recipes and patterns. I have tried a few of the recipes and enjoyed them. Can't wait for the next one. Thank you

  27. Love that the series is set in Seattle!

  28. Recipes and a mystery what more could you want!

  29. Gonna try this recipe tonight and I''m sure will read all this new series=love all the mystery ones of your group here!! What fun!!

  30. I love your first series! Can't wait to read this

  31. Great recipe and wonderful feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  32. Thanks for this intriguing giveaway and delectable recipe. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com