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 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… 😉
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