Pasta with Yogurt, Peas and Chili

Another winner from Jerusalem – I love this cookbook! This one is perfect Meatless Monday. Be sure to use shell pasta.

1 1/4 c Greek yogurt
5 TBSP olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb large shell pasta
1/2 lb peas
2 tsp Aleppo
1/4 c pine nuts
3/4 c basil leaves, torn
4 oz feta crumbled
Salt and pepper

Combine yogurt, 3 TBSP olive oil, garlic, and 1/2 the peas in a blender and purée till smooth.

Cook pasta according to package.

In a small pan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil, add pepper and pin nuts. Cook over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes until pine nuts are toasted.

Drain pasta and toss with peas, feta, basil, pine nut mixture and yogurt sauce.

Serves 3.

Lamb, Bulger & Herb Tart

This is yet another amazing dish from “Jerusalem.”

1 c Bulgur
1 c boiling water
2 TBSP self rising flour
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, sliced thin
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
1/2 c toasted pine nuts
Tahini Sauce:
3 1/2 TBSP tahini paste
2 tsp lemon juice
3 TBSP water
1 tsp sumuc

Preheat oven to 400. Line an 8 inch springform pan with parchment.

Combine Bulgur and water. Let set for 30 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and press into pan.

Cook onions, garlic and peppers in 2TBSP olive oil over medium heat, cook until soft. Add lamb and cook until browned, breaking up with a spoon. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes. Press over bulgur. Bake for 20 minutes.

Combine tahini ingredients. Pour over lamb mixture season with chopped parley and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool. Sprinkle with Sumac and a few pine nuts.

Serves 6.

Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yogurt

Ottolenghi is an amazing cookbook!! Tonight I made this amazing veggie eggplant dish. Serve with a little bread and you have an amazing meal! This is a great weeknight meal.

yogurt sauce:
Small pinch of saffron
3 TBSP hot water
3/4 c Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil

3 eggplants, halved and quartered
Olive oil
Toasted pine nuts
Pomegranate seeds
Basil leaves
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Spray or brush eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool down.

Place saffron in hot water and set aside. Whisk remaining yogurt sauce ingredients then whisk in the saffron water.

To serve, drizzle yogurt over eggplant top with pine nuts, Pom seeds and basil.

Serves 4.

Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino


I love brussel sprouts and this brings in two of my other loves cheese and nuts!

1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 c Pecorino cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 TBSP lemon juice

Heat the oven to 500°F.

Place brussel sprouts on a oiled baking sheet, spray with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out to an even layer.

Roast, stirring about halfway through the cooking time, until browned and just tender, about 20 to 25 minutes total.

Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a bowl and set them aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add the toasted pine nuts, cheese, and lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serves 4.

Gnocchi with Spinach and Brown Butter


This is the perfect meal when you are too tired to cook – it takes less time to whip it up then order take out.

1 lb vacuum packed gnocchi
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz spinach
Salt and pepper
1/4 c Parmesan, shredded

Cook gnocchi according to package.

Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet and cook for 3 minutes until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add Spanish and gnocchi to the pan; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with cheese and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts


This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine magazine, I just made a few minor changes. The cinnamon is what makes if special.

4 1 lb eggplants, halved
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb ground lamb
3 TBSP pine nuts
1/4 c golden raisins
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange eggplant in a baking dish, spray with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until browned.

In a small bowl combine cinnamon, paprika and cumin.

In a large skillet, heat the oil, add onions and 1/2 the spice mixture, cover and cook for 7 minutes until soft. Add lamb and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, raisins, pine nuts and half the parsley, remove from heat.

Spoon lamb mixture into the eggplant and cinnamon stick to the pan. Mix 1 cup of water with the lemon and remaining spice mixture, pour over eggplant. Bake for 40 minutes covered with foil. Top with remaining parsley and serve.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Kale


I love kale add it to pasta with some citrus and cream and I’m in heaven! This is a quick and tasty weeknight pasta.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
Res pepper flakes
1/2 c chicken stock
1 bunch of kale, thick stems removed and chopped
1 c 1/2 and 1/2
8 oz pasta
1/3 c Parmesan, grated
1 lemon zested and juiced
3 TBSP parsley, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions, pepper flakes and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock and kale and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 and 1/2 reduce heat to simmer and stir. Add pasta and a little pasta water if needed. Stir in cheese, zest and juice. Top with parsley and serve.

Serves 4.

Eggplant casserole


This was loosely inspired by a recipe in Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean Cookbook. I grilled the eggplants and pepper for the stuffing and put it in a baking dish added some cheese and put into a casserole.

6 small eggplants
1 red pepper
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c grated cheese

Preheat BBQ to medium high. Grill eggplants and pepper turning every couple minutes until softened and nicely charred. Remove, cover with foil and let cool.

Scrape eggplant from skin and peal pepper. Add to a food processor and pulse until puréed.

Meanwhile cook onions in a little oil until softened, add garlic and lamb, cooking until meat is browned.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine purée with meat and onions. Top with bread crumbs, pine nuts and cheese spray or drizzle with olive oil.

Serves 4.

Zucchini Mint Pesto


Nothing like being without a kitchen for 3 weeks to really inspire a cook! This my summer riff on the asparagus pesto I made in the early spring. This is the perfect pasta comfort food for a crazy Monday.

1 1/2 lbs baby zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1/2 c mint leaves
1/4 c parsley
4 cloves garlic
Zest of one lemon + 1 TBSP juice
3/4 c parmigiano
1/3 c olive oil
4 oz chopped pancetta, cooked crisp
1 lb pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add Zucchini and cook 5 minutes. Remove from water and toss into food processor. Add pasta to water and cook until al dente.

Add all ingredients except pasta to Zucchini in processor, process until smooth, and salt and pepper to taste.

Remove pasta and place into a large bowl with 1/4 c pasta water, add pesto and toss. Let sit for 1 minute to allow pasta to absorb the sauce. Serve and top with pancetta.

Serves 4.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta


Mondays always seem to be meatless and pasta heavy dinners. Is it the start of the work week? The late calls to APAC or ANZ? The need for comfort food as a reward after making it through Monday? To be honest, probably all of the above.

It’s spring – so I literally buy as much asparagus at the farmers market as we can possibly eat in a week – it’s a short season, what can I say?

Tonight’s meal was inspired by a recipe I found on Epicurious. I lightened up by reducing the oil and it still tasted wonderful!!

1 lb penne pasta
1 lb asparagus
1/4 c pine nuts
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 oz olive oil
Zest & juice of one lemon
2 ozs Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a 6- to 7-quart kettle bring about 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta.

Snap off woody ends from asparagus, add asparagus to boiling water and cook 4 minutes.

In a food processor pulse pine nuts and garlic, cheese, zest & lemon juice with salt until finely chopped. Add asparagus and oil and pulse until asparagus is coarsely chopped.

Transfer pesto to a large bowl. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to pesto, tossing to coat, and season with salt and pepper.

In a 6- to 7-quart kettle bring about 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta.

4 servings.
9 WW PP per serving.