- 1 lb Baia Pasta Durum Macs
- 5 oz sundried tomatoes
- 4 oz blanched almonds
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of Entube Harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon of garlic paste (or 2 cloves of garlic, minced)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Ricotta salata (or aged queso fresco), grated (optional)
BUYa kit to cook this recipe
Things should not be complicated, right? This dish comes together in a heartbeat and will satisfy the pickiest eater. The Italian umami of sundried tomatoes and the tangy spiciness of Entube's harissa, melded by almonds and just a touch of tomato paste for kicks.
Cut the sundried tomatoes into thin strips (julienne) and coarsely grind the almonds in a food processor. Gently toast the ground almonds in a dry pan, to release their flavor. No need for browning, a gentle golden hue is enough. Set aside and reserve a couple of tablespoons of ground almonds (if you want to use as a garnish). Add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the same pan, the tablespoon of garlic paste and cook on medium/low heat until theoil becomes fragrant. Now add the sundried tomatoes strips, the harissa and the tomato paste. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes to release the flavors of the ingredients.
Now it’s time to add 1/2 a cup of water or other flavorful liquid of your choice (red/white wine or broth) to bring the sauce to a creamy consistency. Add the almonds and adjust with more liquid if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and let rest until the pasta is ready.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt it generously (rule of thumb: pasta water tastes like the ocean). Add the pasta, and give the macs a quick stir and cook for around 9-10 minutes. Drain the pasta (reserving a cup of cooking water) and add to the sauce. Use the pasta water to bring to the right consistency, creamy and not too watery (could be just as much as 1 tablespoon, depending on the thickness of the sauce). Cook for a minute or two, for the pasta to absorb the sauce, and season with some of the reserved toasted almonds or grated cheese (optional). Want to step it up? Add sausage, or chickpeas, or both! Happy dinner.