Friday, 7 March 2014

Dukkah & Olive Pasta

Dukkah and olive pasta

It's not much of a secret that I love to sample foods from around the world, almost as much as I love exploring new places for myself. Spices are particularly versatile, and different cuisines have their own characteristic ways of combining flavours.

Take dukkah as an example. The primary spices in this Egyptian mix are cumin and coriander - a combination which I first encountered in Indian cooking, but which takes on quite a different feel when coupled with ground nuts and sesame in a dry mixture like this. Suddenly, you have something that feels distinctly middle eastern, with a hint of bitter lemon from the coriander.

I was recently sent a Lord Love a Dukkah hamper from Olives Et Al, which forms part of their plan to promote dukkah to a generally oblivious British audience. As well as a generous pot of dukkah, the box also contained olive oil, two types of olives, and a tangy lemon tapenade. While this all naturally lends itself to a middle eastern mezze platter, I decided to get a bit more adventurous.

This recipe was inspired by the monthly Pasta Please challenge, established by Jac at Tinned Tomatoes and this month hosted by Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Michelle's choice of theme is tomatoes - whether fresh, dried, pureed, or tinned. I make quite a lot of basic tomato sauces for pasta, but I fancied doing something a bit different for this challenge. And since I happened to have a hamper of gorgeous Middle Eastern ingredients just begging to be used, that seemed like a perfect combination.

I don't often cook with olives as Andy isn't a fan, so when he went out for lunch with his mum last week, I took advantage of the opportunity to make something a little different. The veggies, olives, and crunchy dukkah make for an unusual pasta dish that's delicious hot or cold. Also? It's really quick to make.

Dukkah and olive pasta

Dukkah & Olive Pasta
Serves 2

1 sweet red pepper
15 baby plum tomatoes
½cup large pitted olives (mixed black & green)
200g (8oz) fusilli pasta
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp concentrated tomato puree
¼cup dukkah
  1. Chop the pepper into small pieces, and halve the tomatoes and olives.
  2. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions (mine took 9-10 minutes)
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry the peppers & tomatoes in 1tsp olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain off most of the water, leaving just a couple of tablespoons of liquid in the pan.
  5. Add the olive oil, tomato puree, olives, and dukkah to the pasta.
  6. Return the pasta to a low heat to warm through.
  7. Toss in the peppers and tomatoes.
  8. Serve immediately, or allow to cool and eat as a salad.


retriever said...

Nice recipe.

Rachel said...

I've not managed to warm to Olives, either, but the dukkah sounds interesting. As you say, different combinations give otherwise familiar tastes a new dimension.

Anonymous said...

I've never had dukkah (or even heard of it for that matter) but this looks fabulous. You always have the most interesting recipes and stories behind them.

Christine Berres said...

This sounds fresh and healthy...and delicious. Wish I could get coriander here...but dukkah shall have to wait:) Coming in from the SITS Girls!

Amee Sandhu said...

Mmm I LOVE olives! This looks so good. Pinning now!

Jenne said...

Pinned! This looks so delicious!

Lydia Filgueras said...

I haven't had a chance to try dukkah, but I'm pretty sure I'd like it. Love the recipe :)

Heather King said...

This looks delicious! I love pasta and this is so simple!

Nicky Omohundro said...

Looks very tasty

Michelle Nahom said...

Oh this looks delicious! We're huge fans of Middle Eastern food around here!

Corina said...

I made this for Secret Recipe Club and loved it. It's so tasty and different too!

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