conchiglie with yogurt, peas and chile

July 10, 2013 § 60 Comments

I love visiting food blogs specifically looking for something to prepare for dinner…”tonight”!   The other day I visited one of my favorite blogs (I have too many to count) and found this recipe.  I am a huge fan of Molly’s blog and I took heed to her urgency about cooking this pasta.  I ran out and pick up what I needed, came home that late afternoon and made one of the most delicious pasta dishes we have ever had.  I never imagined  pasta prepared with yogurt sauce.  This was so creamy, yet light, a bit spicy from the chile, yet a little sweet from the peas, nutty from the pine nuts and lightly salty from the feta.  All melty hot and delicious.  

I have yet to pick up my copy of  Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  Convincingly after making this recipe I am heading out today to do so.

I could never in my wildest dreams come up with this so I am giving you Molly’s posted recipe “verbatim”.  And if you haven’t read Molly’s book A Homemade Life it is quite charming and features some incredible recipes.

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A s   w r i t t e n   o n   O r a n g e t t e . . . . 

Pasta with Yogurt, Peas, and Chile

Adapted slightly from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

The original version of this recipe calls for conchiglie, or shell-shaped pasta, but you could use any small pasta shape you like: orecchiette, penne, farfalle, and so on.

If you have some exotic type of dried chile, like Urfa chile, Aleppo chile, or Kirmizi biber, you lucky lucky dog, this is a great place to use it. If not, you can use regular red pepper flakes. I happened to have some Aleppo chile, and though it was ground, not in flakes, and probably a few years old, it worked beautifully. Oh, and if you’re worried about the amount of heat, consider starting with a little less of the chile than what is called for – or just don’t put much chile oil on your pasta.

  • 2 ½ cups (500 g) whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
  • 1 pound (500 g) fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound (500 g) pasta shapes of your liking
  • Scant ½ cup (60 g) pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons Turkish or Syrian chile flakes, or red pepper flakes
  • 1 2/3 cups (40 g) basil leaves, coarsely torn
  • 8 ounces (240 g) feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the yogurt, 6 tablespoons (90 ml) of the olive oil, the garlic, and 2/3 cup (100 g) of the peas. Process to a uniform pale green sauce, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it until tastes like pleasantly salty seawater. Add the pasta, and cook until it is al dente. While the pasta cooks, warm the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and chile flakes, and cook for 4 minutes, or until the pine nuts are golden and the oil is deep red. Also, warm the remaining peas in some boiling water (you could scoop out a bit of the pasta water for this); then drain.

Drain the cooked pasta into a colander, and shake it well to get rid of excess water that may have settled into the pasta’s crevices. Add the pasta gradually to the yogurt sauce; adding it all at once may cause the yogurt to separate. Add the warm peas, the basil, feta, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss gently. Serve immediately, with pine nuts and chile oil spooned over each serving.

Yield: about 6 servings

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§ 60 Responses to conchiglie with yogurt, peas and chile

  • genevieveyam says:

    Yum! I’ve heard so many great things about Ottolenghi. Feeling like having pasta for dinner now… :D

  • Looks wonderful, I made something very similar the other day using fusilli, I love that you used yogurt and the chili flakes. I love cold pasta salads!!

    • This really is a wonderful recipe Suzanne. It is actually not a cold pasta salad rather a warm pasta. I know with having yogurt in it would seem like a cold salad. I have never tried anything like this before and it shall be in high rotation around here.

  • This looks yum Seana – the only part I’m not keen on is peas – they’re something I could never convince myself to enjoy. I wonder what can be used to substitute them? And, please let us know how the book Jerusalem is – if it’s any good, I’ll get a kindle version of it! thanks dear!

    • Hmmm. Not sure about a substitution for the peas. Maybe fava beans? I would be willing to try fava’s with this and let you know. I loved this so much I could eat it quite often. I’ll let you know my opinion about Jerusalem…I’m sure it is amazing!

  • Very interesting combination with the yoghurt, I had the Ottolenghi book in my hands several time and never actually bought it, next time it’s mine :-)

  • Suzie says:

    Cold pasta dishes are one of my favorite go-to recipes. I like the different ingredients in this dish though. I’ll definitely give it a try very soon!

    • Hi Suzie! If you do try it make sure to serve it hot though. It’s actually a warm pasta rather than a salad. I think the yogurt is confusing thinking of it as warm. But it is out of this world delicious! :)

  • I am going to have to make this soon. Thankfully Dreamfields makes a great gluten free low carb pasta so, I’m in! It looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing Orangette, I had not discovered it yet and am looking forward to reading more!

  • ohlidia says:

    I do have the Jerusalem cookbook and I love it! I had book-marked this very pasta dish… I think I may have mentioned before that we would get along just fine, no?

  • Ingredients are amazing… with adorable little basil leaves! Did you have this as the main or salad? :P

    • Thank you Fae! Isn’t that basil plant the cutest! It is a varietal I learned about recently. Greek basil. I bought a little plant. I love it. This is actually a hot pasta dish so we had it as a main course. It is delicious! :)

  • What a great salad! I love Ottolenghi :) thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe!

  • It’s unlikely, but I happen to have all thee ingredients in our kitchen right now! dinner! I love the “Orangette” blog as well. I read her book from the library a while back… Have you been to Molly’s restaurant? I think it’s in your end of the country.

    • Oh good Rhonda! Hope you make this, you’ll love it. Yes! I have been to Delancey’s they serve fantastic pizza! Molly has such a wonderful writing talent and I love her palate. Amazing recipes. Let me know if you make the pasta!

  • Karen says:

    I use yogurt in lots of recipes but have not used it in a pasta recipe like this. It sounds great and I can’t wait to try it.

  • Like Karen I’ve never cooked yoghurt with pasta. Love the idea of using fresh peas that are available in the shops right now. And I need to use up some of my Greek style basil!

  • Yes! And I remember you featuring this basil a few weeks ago. I ended up finding a great source at the market a couple of weeks ago. It seems to be much more intense than, say the genoa basil. Hope you give the recipe a try, I certainly can not take credit for it deliciousness…just passing the goodness of it on!

  • Fig & Quince says:

    Wow, the pasta dish looks really really delicious. I’ve never had pasta with yogurt before ( I think!) I would love to check this out.

  • ChgoJohn says:

    This sounds delicious. When I first read the ingredients, I though this was to be served chilled, like the commenter before me, I’ve not had a hot pasta dish dressed with yogurt. This makes me want to try it even more.
    On side note, this recipe was the last straw. I put Jerusalem in my shopping cart. :)

    • I never considered it may appear as a chilled pasta salad until I received a few comments. :) Maybe I’ll go back and edit the post a little… I was so enamored with this recipe John! You’ll love it too, I know.

  • the poor man says:

    this pasta looks absoutely incredible. i’ve been on a big yogurt kick lately, and now that i made a big batch of lebaneh the other day, i’m thinking i might be uniquely suited to making a variation on this dish. when i finally get around to making it i’ll probably add roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes, but otherwise it looks like it is right up my alley. beautiful work as always.

    love your blog, and i am eagerly awaiting your next post. thanks for all your hard work. ;)

    • Oh my your own lebaneh. Sounds like you have just stepped this recipe up several notches. I can taste the sundried tomatoes or roasted peppers in this…would be a perfect variation. Your comments are so kind and encouraging. Thank you so much. I am still trying to imagine what it must be like stepping out your door every morning and receiving a greeting from Mt. Fuji!

  • laurasmess says:

    Oh yum! I was reading about Ottolenghi on David’s blog, Cocoa and Lavender, the other day! I think it must be a sign… I need to buy one of his books! This pasta looks absolutely delicious. I adore the photo with the vibrant green and toasted pine nuts, mmmm! Beautiful post. I’ll definitely try this recipe soon! xx

    • Yes, it is a sign. :) I think we need to get this book and start cooking Ottolenghi style. I have heard so many wonderful reviews and opinions that I can not imagine why I haven’t picked up a copy yet. Have you read Orangette blog yet? She’s something else. Fabulous narrative and simple, down home cooking. At the very least read her post on this very same pasta. It proves to me I desperately need to enroll in the next writing course offered through our university! :)

      • laurasmess says:

        I have read Orangette! It’s a wonderful blog. I will read the complimentary post… but you should give yourself credit! I love everything you write! xx

  • looks awesome! Yes, I concur about getting Jerusalem. I made the spinach salad w/ dates and almonds (found on a blog) twice this past week it was so amazing.

  • I never had pasta with yogurt before but it sounds delicious and looks very summer-y too. YUM!

  • johncpicardi says:

    This is looks incredible! –Must try! –Thank you for posting! John

  • Sarah Walter says:

    What a great mix of flavors- quite healthy too! As with the above commenter, love your basil plant! Beautiful photo :)

    • Thank you Sarah. Keep your eye out for this little basil varietal. This is the first season I have seen it. I have seen it available as greek basil or bush basil. It is quite remarkable, you have to see it…do a quick google image search. You will be impressed.

  • gotasté says:

    I would love to make this too! Yummy!

  • Serena says:

    This dish looks great! You could also use some ricotta cheese instead of yogurt and serve it warm. Lovely post.

  • This looks delish. Greek yogurt is great warmed up, on pasta, on rice, in tomato sauce, you name it! I’m looking forward to trying this particular dish!

  • elamb says:

    This looks fantastic! I love peas in my pasta dishes. I also have a guilty little pleasure of mixing in some sour cream in any leftover pasta, so I think I will adore this dish. Thanks heaps for sharing!

    • I think you and I think alike. :) This pasta dish has all the great elements and textures to it. It’s so good!

      • elamb says:

        Just made it for dinner and it was fantastic! I had to use ricotta instead of yogurt though as I used up all my yogurt making panna cotta… this pasta dish really was amazing. Thanks again!

      • You made me so happy! I am so glad you made it and enjoyed. I can definitely see how ricotta would be every bit as good, if not better…than yogurt. Did you spice it up a bit or keep it mild? I’m just curious because when I made it I kept it pretty mild and next time I make it I am going to put some more heat on it. :) Thank you so much for your feedback. Seana

      • elamb says:

        I had dried and powdered chipotle, and I added one teaspoon of each. It was pretty spicy but the smokiness kept if from burning so it was really great. You may not need to add more heat though… if you toss the pasta in the chilli oil and pinenuts first and then add the sauce you’ll get more of a kick. Let me know when you try it out again :)

  • Busyblendedmom says:

    Do you think it would still be good without the basil? I have everything in my kitchen but fresh basil

  • […] very similar pasta recipe was posted here several months ago and the only difference between the two is the type of pasta […]

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