Tom & I recently evicted all non cookbooks from the bookcase in our kitchen, freeing up some space for new additions & the recently published Jerusalem was the very first book we snatched up for the newly acquired space. We absolutely adore Yotam Ottolenghi’s first cookbook Plenty, with it’s stunning photography & amazing vegetarian recipes & anxiously awaited the release of his latest book, where he teams up with chef Sami Tamimi for a culinary exploration of their home city.
I flipped through the book, loving the pictures just as much as the ones in Plenty, mouth watering over the Mediterranean recipes & when I got to page 111 (you can see it, too, on Amazon’s book preview), I knew it was the first recipe from this book I had to taste for myself. It’s creamy, tangy, herbaceous & even a little bit spicy & it’s something we’ve made over & over again.
CONCHIGLIE WITH YOGURT, PEAS & CHILE
2 1/2 cups Greek yogurt, nonfat is fine
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1lb peas, fresh or frozen & thawed, divided
1lb conchiglie pasta
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 2/3 cups fresh basil, torn
8oz feta cheese, roughly crumbled
salt & freshly ground pepper
Add the yogurt, 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic & 2/3 cup of the peas to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes light green & smooth. Transfer to a large bowl & set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil & salt very generously. Add the pasta & cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Throw the remaining peas in with the pasta during the last minute of cooking to heat them up a bit.
While the pasta cooks, heat the rest of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts & chile flakes & fry, stirring constantly, until the pine nuts are golden & the oil is a deep red color, just a minute or two. Remove from heat & set aside.
Once al dente, drain the pasta & the peas. Gradually add to the bowl with yogurt mixture, stirringly gently to combine. Add the basil & feta & season with salt & pepper to taste. Toss gently, until everything is well coated. Transfer to individual serving dishes & spoon each dish with the pine nuts & chile oil.
slightly adapted from Jerusalem