Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pasta shells with yogurt sauce, peas, and chile


When Andrew and I were in Turkey over the summer, we tried a traditional dish called manti, which consists of a ravioli-like dumplings filled with meat and topped with yogurt and spices. I loved it - the yogurt sauce was creamy and tangy and paired well with the dumplings. Yogurt and pasta may seem like an odd combination at first, but it is commonly found in certain Middle Eastern cuisines, and it's not that far off from the yogurt rice eaten in India.

This recipe came from Jerusalem - it's not the same dish I tried in Turkey, but it's in the same family. Here, the sauce includes yogurt, feta cheese, and pureed peas. The pasta is tossed with more peas and basil, and topped with pine nuts that have been cooked in a spicy chile oil. The pine nuts and chile oil really make this dish - the nuts add texture and the chile add another dimension of flavor. The chile oil is very spicy though, so cut down on the chile flakes if you are sensitive to heat!

A note on the Jerusalem cookbook - this book is by Yotam Ottolenghi, the author of Plenty. You may remember me talking about how much I love Plenty, and Jerusalem is just as good (although fyi - it's not vegetarian). I love the big flavors and creative combinations of ingredients in Ottolenghi's recipes and his cookbooks are always a good source of inspiration. I definitely highly recommend this one.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Meyer lemon cranberry scones


Wow, it has been a long time since my last post...I've been cooking a lot but haven't really been inspired to blog about any of it. But I was recently reminded of how nice it is to share recipes and food stories with others and it made me want to get back here and post something. And between the snowy weather this weekend and the fact that I've been down with a cold, I've been spending a lot of time on the couch paging through cookbooks and bookmarking recipes. I've got quite a list of things I want to try in the next couple weeks, and hopefully some of the recipes will be good enough to share!

I don't know about you, but snowy days make me want to bake. The apartment just seems extra warm and inviting when it is filled with the scent of baked goods. I came across this recipe when I was looking for something to bake using the Meyer lemons that I recently bought. If you haven't tried them, Meyer lemons are sweeter and more aromatic than regular lemons. They're only in season for a few months, so I try to grab them when I see them. The Meyer lemons work beautifully with the cranberries in these scones. The scones are fragrant and light, and have just the right amount of sweetness to offset the tart fruit. They're perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.