May 14, 2013

Feature Ingredient: Harissa

Harissa-Spiced Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta 
with Swiss Chard & Red Onion 

Do you ever use harissa? On a recent whim, I bought a container of this Tunisian hot chili sauce. I am having a great deal of fun experimenting with it. Next time around, I will definitely try this homemade version from Saveur. I kept this recipe simple with a healthy dose of greens. However, this base recipe leaves plenty of room for experimentation with any of the optional ingredients suggested below.

1/2 box fusilli pasta
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1/3-1/2 cup harissa
salt & pepper, to taste
kalamata olives (optional)
pine nuts (optional)
1 can of chick peas (optional)
sliced chicken breast (optional)
fresh chopped parsley (optional)
4 oz goat cheese (optional)
1 cup diced roasted sweet potatoes (optional)
yield: 3 servings

1. bring a large salted pot of water to a boil & cook pasta according to package directions. 

2. meanwhile, saute the swiss chard & red onions in olive oil. add a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness of the onions as they cook. 

3. drain the cooked pasta. add in the sauteed swiss chard, red onion, and 1/4 cup harissa. stir to combine. taste & adjust to desired heat level, adding 1 tbsp harissa at a time.

4. have fun experimenting with any or all of the optional ingredients!

Harissa and Sweet Potatoes

there is something particularly satisfying about the combination of harissa and sweet potatoes. check here, here, and here for some inspiration.

Harissa and Proteins

BBC's Good Food recipe index demonstrates how harissa can really shine with meat and seafood dishes as well, including chicken, prawns, salmon, and lamb

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