Feature

Recipe of the week: Red whole-wheat penne

“When vegetarians tell me they’re in a cooking rut,” I tell them to “go global.”

“When vegetarians tell me they’re in a cooking rut,” I tell them to “go global,” said Joe Yonan in The Washington Post. Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s take on Ethiopian-style pasta saltata combines potatoes and pasta in a rich, tangy sauce. But “the harissa is the kicker.” The chile paste is enough to jolt anyone out of those veggie doldrums.

Red whole-wheat penne

  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1 large shallot lobe, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 12 oz dried whole-wheat penne
  • ¼ cup chopped arugula
  • ¼ cup chopped basil leaves

Cover potatoes with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, reserving cooking water. Cool potatoes slightly, then cut into ½-inch pieces. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a small skillet over low heat. Add almonds, shallot, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until almonds are golden brown and shallot and garlic tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool.

Scrape almond mixture into a food processor. Add 3 tbsp oil, lemon juice, cheese, harissa, and salt; puree until smooth. With motor running, slowly add 1½ cups of cooking water; puree until smooth. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add penne. Cook until al dente. Drain and toss in a bowl with the potatoes and sauce. Fold in the arugula and bring to the table, garnished with basil. Serves 4.

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