Design Food

The best pasta ever.

July 8, 2013

A few weeks ago, while I was visiting my parents in Orlando, my mom—as she is wont to do—sent me off with some random foodstuffs, among them a box of De Cecco gemelli pasta. I’d never seen this shape of pasta before (it most closely resembles fusili) and was excited to use it (yes, pasta excitement is a thing!), but wanted to save it for a dish that was a little more special than one like cacio e pepe or basic pasta marinara. So I put the box away and pretty much forgot about it.

Then, last week, I read Molly’s post about Yotam Ottolenghi’s pasta with yogurt sauce and was immediately intrigued. Greek yogurt, peas, olive oil and garlic are whizzed into a sauce in the blender and tossed with pasta, feta cheese, more peas and basil, and the whole thing is topped with pine nuts toasted in olive oil and red pepper flakes. Something about the combination of flavors kept me thinking about the recipe all week, and I figured it would be the perfect excuse to use the gemelli, so, on Saturday night, I finally made it (thanks in no small part to the fact that ACS made me an herb garden and I now have abundance of basil on hand, which makes me unspeakably happy).

And you guys, I have to say, this pasta is even better than I imagined, and I had very high hopes. I used an enormous clove of garlic in the yogurt sauce, which made it deliciously spicy and an even more excellent partner in crime for the chile oil. Add to that the hot crunch of the pine nuts, the creamy saltiness of the feta, and the cool sweetness of the peas and the basil, which balances everything out, and you have one of the best dishes I’ve made so far this year. Plus—and I don’t say this lightly—the ingredients are things you probably already have on hand, which really means you should make it. Now. And then you should call me and we can have a pasta lovefest and talk about what a magician Yotam Ottolenghi is. Happy times all around.

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  • Reply
    July 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Looks yummy! Pinning now…

    • Reply
      July 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      It was SO good, Mary! I can’t even believe how complex the flavors were. I hope you make it and love it.

  • Reply
    eileen ragan | leaner by the lake
    July 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    capital YES this looks amazing! I love that type of pasta, too. It has the weight of gnocchi but the shape of pasta. We’ve got a bunch of peas that need to be eaten, and this is making me think tossing with pasta + evoo + basil + parm would be a great option. Might even try blending in some yogurt!

    leaner by the lake

    • Reply
      July 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Ooh, that combo sounds delicious, too. Peas for everyone! xo

  • Reply
    Rachel Sedaker
    July 9, 2013 at 5:07 am

    That sounds so ridiculously simple! I love gemelli, but peas kinda freak me out. Wondering if I could substitute something I’m more likely to have on hand- yogurt sauce just sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Adri Enne
    July 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Ooh yes, I love the sound of the pine nuts, and the peas, and the yogurt sauce. In fact, the only thing I’d end up omitting is the chile oil, as I’m not a fan of spicy food, but other than that yes please!
    Also: I am quite comfortably into my 30’s now and my mother still sometimes send me home with random things from the kitchen. And I only live 10 minutes away these days. Haha! I’m sure I’ll do the same with my daughter when she goes to college in a few years.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    This looks incredibly delish….I love ALL pasta dishes, especially ones with peas, so I’ll definitely be trying this out!

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