If you are a cookbook lover, chances are you have at least one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s books on your shelf. His book “Plenty” (released in 2011) was a huge success, but “Jerusalem“, which he wrote together with Sami Tamimi is probably the hottest cookbook published  last year.  Countless bloggers have been raving about  the recipes in Jerusalem, and even the Diner’s Journal of The New York Times devoted a special article to the cookbook.  As usual, I bookmarked way too many tempting concoctions to try, but when I read this review from Orangette, I knew this pasta would hit the spot with us.  Several things I like about it: the sauce is made with yogurt instead of cream or a bechamel; peas are incorporated in two ways; feta cheese gives it a sharp bite, and fresh basil does the magic that fresh basil always does.

But, as if that symphony of flavors and textures was not enough, each serving is crowned with a spicy and nutty flavored oil, made by sauteing pine nuts and Aleppo pepper.  Oh, my!   Can you spell perfection?

The two main components of the dish come together quite quickly. First, the yogurt-pea sauce, simply whirled in a food processor.  Beautiful light green color!

Then, the finishing touch, a flavored oil with pine nuts and Aleppo pepper. Red pepper flakes can be substituted, but I say go for a Turkish pepper if you can find it.


The yogurt sauce is never heated, instead the hot pasta is added to it in small batches to prevent the sauce from separating.  Reminds me of pasta in fresh tomato sauce, a regular appearance at our table these days.

I must say this recipe was the best thing I cooked in a few months! I loved everything about it…  The original recipe used small shell-shaped pasta which might be even better to catch those cute little peas,  but any pasta will work.  If you have a dinner party coming up and would like to offer a vegetarian option, I say it will be hard to top this one…   😉

If you want the full recipe, you can buy the book (click here), or you can use the version published at Orangette

ONE YEAR AGO: Edamame Hummus in Cucumber Bites

TWO YEARS AGO:  Headed to Brazil!

THREE YEARS AGO: Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffle

FOUR YEARS AGO: Golly Moses: She’s  a Muffin!


    • Thank you! I was wondering who would be the first one to notice 😉 You just won some serious brownie points….

      I thought that 4 years with the exact same look was a bit too much. THis style is still pretty minimalist, but I like the colors and overall “look”


  1. Awesome! I’d seen that book at a friend’s house and flipped through it but it’s great to see an example in real life (well, almost, I guess I’m still looking at a picture, but this seems more firsthand than just looking at the cookbook!). Anyways, sounds like a great dinner!


  2. I just recommended this book to a friend’s friend. She was so surprised because she happened to read the article on WSJ about Jerusalem cook book. After hearing from me that she must buy the book, she ordered it immediately.


  3. I have such a weakness for pasta dishes. This one would be no exception. The yogurt sauce sounds like such a good idea. And I love anything with fresh basil leaves (especially because I have a ton of it growing right now!). I will have this on our menu soon as well. 🙂


  4. Another use for feta cheese (from my freezer) is what drew me to this recipe. And, I even have the little shell pasta in my pantry. I may even have a cup of peas left in my freezer after making pea and prosciutto risotto a couple of days ago. 🙂

    As to the cookbook … I’ve bought only one cookbook (Culinaria Hungary) in the last 10 yrs since I found that I wasn’t cooking out of the ones I already have. Recently I was gifted a French cookbook for vegetables by a considerate friend who had listened me bemoan the lack of vegetables in my diet and I won a cookbook on sustainable fish … both barely touched.

    Instead I am getting most of my recipes from the net, especially those recipes which are recommended highly as this one is. 🙂


    • I feel guilty for having so many cookbooks but resorting to the internet for many of my adventures in cooking. But, I still take a lot of pleasure in reading my cookbooks before falling asleep – so I guess that’s all ok, right?


      • I like to do so as well … collections of tapas recipes, dim sum, oriental appetizers, middle eastern, central and south American, a pizza cook book, one of Paul Prudhomme’s cookbooks. 2 Frugal Gourmet books, a Christine Cushing, seafood … I’m amazed at the variety in the bookshelves. 🙂


  5. Oh Sally! You sold me! This looks and sounds heavenly. I need to get a copy of that book…and quick. I also love that the sauce is made with yogurt. Tangy and healthy! Thank you for sharing!


    • And there you are again! yes, get a copy of this book, I have both Plenty and Jerusalem, but if I had to pick one, definitely Jerusalem would be IT!

      hope you are enjoying the second month with your beautiful baby!


  6. Thought I had commented on this: obviously on a busy Friday I had just ‘earmarked’ it for ‘later’: ipso facto NOW! Well, Sally, you have done it!! Saw the last Ottolenghi series on local TV, have had so many recipes of his from around the globe . . . thought about 600-800 cookbooks was uberweight for the shelves . . . and at last ordered yesterday . . . somehow now I can’t wait 🙂 ! Thanks, Milady 😀 !


  7. I’ve declared a moratorium on buying cookbooks but “Jerusalem” is number one on the list to buy once this self-imposed restriction ends. It makes me wonder just how effective this moratorium will be if I go out and buy a half-dozen cookbooks when it ends. Hmmm…
    Recipes like this one, Sally, are why I want the book. I really love cream sauces but most have such a high milk fat content that a defibrillator is needed at my dining room table, just in case. Using yogurt in place of the heavy cream is a great idea — one of many that I’ve seen coming from that book. Thanks for pointing us to a great recipe and cookbook.


    • Thanks, Joanne… having a few issues with the new theme, apparently I lost some of my widgets, including a stat counter I really liked. Oh, well – will have to deal with it after coffee, right now things are a little slow in the brains department 😉


  8. Your widgets should still be there but in the bottom of the dashboard – scroll down to a section called Inactive Widgets and with any luck there they will be squeaking away with their data and you can drag them back where you want them. Having said that I messed up my stats counter and never got it back when I changed themes but no need for you to make my mistakes!

    I love Jerusalem, have sent copies to a couple of friends too. Love the herby couscous and the turkey z meatballs and all the lentil and rice dishes particularly! Haven’t tried this one yet but you make it sound fab!


  9. This is a truly awesome pasta recipe….. it makes a lot! When I took some leftovers to work everyone loved it and couldn’t quit eating it. The turkey zucchini meatballs are very good too – as are the lamb meatballs and the rice and lentils dish. It’s all good! I agree, Jerusalem will be a classic.


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