Monday, June 15, 2015 Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas and Chile

My sweet neglected blog has taken a back seat to my portrait photography endeavors but when I find a good dish I can't help but share. I found a wonderful recipe for Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas and Chile in Ottolenghi's cookbook 'Jerusalem'. The sauce is greek yogurt based and maintains a nice creamy quality without feeling heavy. If you can't find a larger shell pasta (Conchiglie) there's an alternative, Lumache. Essentially, you want to make a place for the peas inside the pasta or you will be chasing them around your bowl. I think the secret to this delicious is the spicy pine nuts (or walnuts in my case), the original recipe recommended Turkish or Syrian chile flakes, I used the red pepper flakes I already had and they were wonderful. I used a little over half of what the original recipe called for (2tsp) and was pleased with the result, a little smoky and a touch of heat.

Time to get back to snapping photographs. On another note, if you're looking for a photographer for any occasion please feel free to contact me here.

2 cups Greek yogurt
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
16 oz. frozen peas
1 lb. conchiglie pasta
1/2 cup pine nuts*
1(ish) tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup basil leaves, ribbon cut
4 oz. feta, broken into chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper

*I didn't have pine nuts, I chose to use chopped walnuts instead.

Put the yogurt, garlic, 6 Tbsp of the olive oil and 2/3 cup of the peas in a food processor. Blitz to a uniform, pale-green sauce and pour into a large bowl.

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente. While it's cooking, heat the remaining oil (4 Tbsp) in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the nuts and chile, and fry for four minutes, until the nuts are golden and the oil deep red.

Drain the cooked pasta into a colander, over the frozen peas, shake well to get rid of the excess cooking water, then gradually add the hot pasta & peas to the yogurt sauce (adding it all at once may cause the yogurt to split). Add the basil, feta, salt and plenty of pepper, and toss gently. Transfer to serving bowls, spoon over the nuts and the chile-infused oil, and serve.

Happy Cooking!

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