Penne with yoghurt, peas & preserved lemons

My friend Michelle and I put together a blog, Dinerspot, last year where we can collectively review cookbooks.  The aim is to feature a separate cookbook once a month and have a group of friends cook and review from the same book.  Life has somehow gotten in the way (her pregnancy, my job quitting etc) so the site hasn’t really developed in the way we hoped… but here to making a start on it this year!

In the meantime, here is my adaption of one of the recipes I reviewed on the site from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem.  Its one of our favourites.

Penne with pine nuts

Penne with pine nuts


  • 1¼ cups natural organic full-fat yoghurt
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 250g green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 250g wholemeal penne pasta
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes (this will make it fairly spicy, so add less if that doesn’t suit you)
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 100g pitted kalamata black olives
  • Preserved lemon (approx. 1 quarter of a large piece)


  1. Add the yoghurt, garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 125g peas and one handful of baby spinach in a blender or food processor and blend until the yoghurt sauce is green and just smooth. Don’t overblend as the yoghurt will be too thin.
  2. Put a large pot of water on stove and bring to boil.
  3. Finely chop the preserved lemon and loosely chop the basil and olives. Put aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, fry together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, chilli flakes and pine nuts for 3-4 minutes, until the pine nuts are golden. Be careful not to let them burn.
  5. Add pasta to water and cook. About 1 minute before the pasta is cooked, add the remaining peas and let cook for 1 minute. Drain pasta and peas and then add back into the pasta cooking pot.
  6. Add the other handful of baby spinach, basil, olives and lemon and mix into the pasta. Then slowly add in the green yoghurt sauce, one ladle at a time to prevent the yoghurt splitting from the heat.
  7. Divide between two bowls, and spoon the chilli/pine nut oil over the top. Grind salt and pepper to taste. Jnummie!
Penne with yoghurt, peas & preserved lemons thumbnail image An adaptation of an Ottolenghi’s conchiglie recipe from Jerusalem, and a regular feature in our household 30min

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