Friday, October 21, 2011

101's Sesame Yogurt Pasta Salad

I was totally in the mood for pasta, but I didn't want to top it with marinara sauce or pesto.  I toyed with the idea of some sort of lemon-olive oil drizzle, but I really didn't want that either.  What to do? 
I remembered this recipe from 101 Cookbooks (Heidi Swanson) for sesame yogurt pasta.  I hadn't thought to combine tahini paste with yogurt.  The tanginess hit the spot and I got in at least two servings of vegetables in my body, not that I'm a nutritionist or anything.  Pretty, pretty good.  
I'm not sure if this combination will appeal to everyone, as it has a very specific flavor.  And if you don't like tahini, this isn't for you.  But if you do like the flavor of sesame and are looking for a new sauce to put on top of your stuffed pasta (I went with ricotta ravioli, which is what was recommended for this dish), then give this a try!
Note:  I didn't have fresh broccoli or cauliflower, so I used organic frozen veggies.  It worked well. I used the leftover grape tomatoes I had from this recipe, so nothing went to waste! Bon Appetite! 
Sesame Yogurt Pasta Salad (Courtesy of 101 Cookbooks)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup / 120 ml warm water
1/2 cup / 120 ml tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup / 120 ml plain or Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
fine grain sea salt
a big handful of broccoli florets
a big handful of cauliflower florets
a big handful of green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch segments
1/2 pound / 8 oz / 225 g stuffed pasta (ravioli, etc)
a big handful/scoop of cherry tomatoes, raw or roasted
a small handful torn basil and/or cilantro

Get a big pot of water started - you are going to want to bring it to a boil.
While the water is heating, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric. Stir well, and saute for just 15-30 seconds, or until the spices are toasted and fragrant. Transfer this mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the water, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Taste and adjust to your liking - you most likely will need a bit more salt. Set aside.

Salt the pot of water generously, and boil the broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans. Boil just 30 seconds, and quickly fish out with a slotted spoon. Run the vegetables under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, then drain and run under cold water. Really try to shake off any extra water, then add to the vegetables. Add the tomatoes, and toss gently. You can toss with half of the sauce at this point, or serve the salad with dollops of the sauce on top - to be tossed at the table. It's prettier this way. Sprinkle with the basil/cilantro (and basil flowers if you have them) and serve. Serve the extra sauce on the side - any leftover makes a good dip later in the week.

{Adapted from the Pasta Salad with Tangy Sesame-Yogurt Sauce in Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen.}

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1 comment:

  1. Love your posts and recipe selections! Keep posting.