Wednesday, June 17, 2015

pasta with yogurt, peas, and chile

Here's what I like about this recipe. You blend some peas  and hold some peas back  with yogurt, olive oil and garlic until it makes a smooth, pale-green sauce. Which is something I never would have thought of.

Later, you add coarsely-crumbled feta cheese and ripped basil leaves. Which, frankly, make everything better.

At the end, you spoon little dribbles of red-chiled-olive oil and golden pine nuts over your pasta.

And that's it. You eat it, and you thank Orangette and Jerusalem for both creating it and letting you know about it.

one year ago: buttermilk cookies en route to calgary and pasta with smoked trout and asparagus
two years ago: asparagus and cheese sauce on toast
three years ago: mango love on oahu and chinese-canadian lettuce wraps
four years ago: dutch marzipan cookies and oregon hazelnut salad
five years ago: chocolate nut balls and ripe bean soup

pasta with yogurt, peas, and chile
slightly adapted from Orangette and Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
makes six servings

500 g. (1 1/2 c.) whole-milk Greek yogurt
150 ml. (2/3 c.) olive oil, separated to 90 ml + 60 ml.
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
500 g. (1 lb.) fresh or frozen peas, thawed
kosher salt
450  500 g. pasta shapes
50  60 g. (1/3  scant 1/2 c.) pine nuts
2 tsp. Korean, Turkish, or Syrian chile flakes, or red pepper flakes
1/2 c.  1 2/3 c. basil leaves, coarsely torn*
240 g. (8 oz.) feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

Get out your food processor. Blend the yogurt, 90 ml. (6 tbsp.) olive oil, the garlic and 100 g. (2/3 c.) peas. Process until it's a consistent pale green and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Cook until just al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Warm the remaining olive oil, then add the pine nuts and chile flakes. Cook for about 4 minutes  keep an eye on it to make sure neither the nuts nor the chile flakes burns. When the pine nuts are golden, take the pan off the heat.

Cook the remaining peas in water for a couple minutes in the microwave until they're not raw, but just slightly cooked. Drain.

Pour a bit of the drained pasta into the big bowl with the green sauce and mix. (If you add it all at once, the sauce could separate.) Repeat with the rest of the pasta. Stir in the warm peas, basil, feta and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Gently toss. Put into serving dishes, and spoon a bit of oil and pine nuts over top. Serve.

* This is a huge variation. If you've got tons of basil growing in your garden, do use the higher amount. But if you have to buy very expensive basil at the grocery store, it's still very good with the smaller amount.

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