Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spaghetti with Yogurt and Cilantro Pesto Sauce (Ma’acaroni bel-laban)

Check out his and hers dishes--I'm a bowl girl

My high school friend Bonnie always said she thought she was Lebanese.  She had these lovely exotic looks and thought being Lebanese would be an awesome thing.  I don't think the question of her ultimate provenance was ever solved, but the provenance of this dish is definitively Lebanon.  Based on the awesomeness of this pasta and the awesomeness of Bonnie, I have decided she must indeed be Lebanese.

Part of why I started blogging was that I needed a creative outlet for all the funny thoughts in my head.  Part of it, though, is that there is so much good food shared around the globe by bloggers, and I wanted to try some of it.  This was originally shared by Taste of Beirut on her blog, and it was an instant "ooooooh! MUST TRY!"  based on its classic combination of garlic and cilantro.  So many of my favorite cuisines use both of those as key ingredients, and they never fail to please me.  And this certainly fits all bills.  

My one hint:  Be sure the cilantro/garlic mixture and pasta are a bit cooled before adding in the yogurt--I've made this twice, and the first time, the heat caused the yogurt to turn to cheese.  It was yummy, but not saucy, and the tang of a completely coating slurpy sauce makes this a jewel of a recipe.

I didn't alter the recipe at all except to mince the garlic and smush it with salt in a plate as I currently lack a pestle and mortar.  Also, I didn't have pine nuts.  I intended to toss some roasted almonds on top, but I was overwhelmed by the heady smell of cilantro-garlic.  Original recipe here.

1 comment:

  1. I cook a lot with yogurt - I like the flavor and it's healthier than sour cream or creme fraiche.
    Great simple recipe - but it will have to wait a few weeks, my cilantro just came up in the garden....