Taste of Cyprus Local Food Pasta with halloumi-mint pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes

Pasta with halloumi-mint pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes

Ingredients

For the tomatoes:

4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pesto:

¾ cup parsley leaves

¾ cup mint leaves

¼ cup almonds raw and unsalted

1 clove of garlic

¾ cup grated halloumi

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pasta:

500 gr. Macaroncelli or spaghetti

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

2 tablespoons pine nuts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Put the sliced cherry tomatoes in a baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 35-40 minutes until they soften. Set them aside.

Step 2

Prepare the pesto while the tomatoes bake. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, put the parsley, mint, almonds and garlic. Blend them. Add halloumi, lemon juice. Pulse briefly to mix and season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream. You will end up with a thick pesto.

Step 3

To finish the dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water generously with salt. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until they become al-dente. Drain, but keep about 2 cups of the cooking water.

Step 4

Return the drained pasta back to the pot. Mix in the pesto, halloumi, chilli flakes and and one cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Mix well until the pesto is evenly distributed. If the pasta seems too thick, add a few more tablespoons of the pasta water. Taste the pasta for salt and pepper and adjust.

Step 5

Add the roasted tomatoes to the pasta. Mix briefly. Transfer the pasta on a serving platter. Garnish with the pine nuts and mint leaves. Serve at once with more grated halloumi on the side.

By Galateia Pamporidi

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