I'm consistently drawn to this particular recipe because of its use of yogurt as a pasta sauce. Crushed garlic and olive oil gives the yogurt bold flavor, and the addition of peas turns the sauce a beautiful pale green. This dish is light, summery, and incredibly unique — and honestly, I can't say no to a dish with toasted pine nuts.
Finally, this recipe doesn't require any fancy ingredients — chances are, you'll have these things on hand. If you prefer, sub larger shells (conchiglie) for the smaller ones — any shell-shaped pasta will hold the sauce well and scoop up the spicy pine nuts and salty feta crumbles. Save leftovers (if you have any!) for lunch the next day. The pasta keeps great in the fridge.
Conchigliette with Yogurt, Peas, and Pine Nuts
- 1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 2/3 cups frozen peas, thawed, divided
- 1/2 lb. conchiglie (large shell) or conchigliette (small shell) pasta
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 4 oz. feta cheese, roughly crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Put the yogurt, 3 tablespoons oil, garlic, and 2/3 cup peas in the food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large mixing bowl.
Boil a pot of salted water and cook the pasta until al dente (per the package instructions). As it cooks, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the pine nuts and a few dashes red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook just a few minutes until the nuts are golden.
Heat the remaining peas in boiling water, then drain.
Drain the cooked pasta and add to the yogurt sauce. (If you tend to like less sauce with your pasta, you may want to add the yogurt sauce to the pasta instead to control the amount of sauce). Add the cooked peas, basil, feta, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. Spoon pasta into serving bowls, and top each with the pine nuts and a drizzle of the spicy oil left in the pan.
Adapted from Jerusalem.