I am always on the look out for new ways to enjoy pasta and as a big lover of tahini, I blame Yotam Ottolenghi who made this traditional Middle Eastern sesame paste a mainstream and much loved ingredient in the UK by heavily using it across his widely popular recipes, was more than intrigued when I stumbled across a recipe for pasta with a tahini sauce.
The sauce, similar to a tahini dressing I already regularly use with roast veg made from tahini, honey, lemon juice and hot water, here comes with added white wine vinegar and dijon mustard for extra zing and ultra fragrant maple syrup for extra depth instead of honey. The sauce is made in mere minutes but works an absolute treat when combined with silky ribbons of pasta and of course is completely vegan which is fantastic considering the creamy texture and strong flavour you get from it.
I roasted some tomatoes for added texture to be mixed through the cooked pasta and tahini sauce (plus some mushrooms on this occasion because why not) but feel free to add veg as you like. I plunged for some pomegranate seeds as finishing touch which elevated the pasta into something quite special and topped it all with some quickly pan fried halloumi as well as some chopped up fresh parsley - all in all a wonderful marriage of colours, flavours and textures.
Is it a traditionally Italian pasta? Hell no, but it the end result was bloody delicious, not only beautiful when plated up but a joy to eat and easily rustled up in less than 30 minutes after a day at work or on a Friday night. For sure one added to my usual repertoire and one worth trying even for the pasta purists amongst you!
- 400 g tagliatelle
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- Olive oil
- Bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 200 g halloumi, sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 150g pomegranates seeds (buy them ready in a pot to save you hassle)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp tahini
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- Warm water as needed to thin the sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Heat your oven to 200°C.
- Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and salt and pepper in a roasting tin and roast for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, season well and add water as needed until you reach a pouring consistency. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
- Pan fry the halloumi until golden brown on both sides
- Toss together the pasta, cherry tomatoes, parsley, halloumi and pomegranate seeds.
- Drizzle over the dressing and toss again.
- Garnish with parsley and more pomegranate seeds.