Roasted Tomato and Labaneh Pappardelle
When labaneh is combined with roasted tomatoes, a new staple pasta sauce is born. The sweet and the tart mix together to cloak every bite of al dente pappardelle, which I chose specifically because its wide, flat surface is a great vehicle for the sauce. Fresh za’atar, if you can get it, really makes a difference; oregano, marjoram, or a sprinkle of dried za’atar spice blend would do great work here, too. Since labaneh can separate on its own, I add just enough cream to stabilize the sauce.
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes (including Roasted Sheet Pan Cherry Tomatoes recipe)
¾ pound dried pappardelle pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing the pasta
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 recipe Roasted Sheet Pan Tomatoes (2½ cups roasted tomatoes)
3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
½ cup 4-Hour Labaneh or Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh or dried za’atar, chopped fresh or dried oregano or marjoram, or Za’atar Spice Blend (page 28), for serving
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the pasta until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water, and toss the pasta in a little bit of olive oil right in the colander to keep it from sticking.
Add the 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to the empty pasta pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes.
Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cumin is fragrant and the garlic is light golden, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cream, salt, and black pepper, reduce the heat to medium-low, and warm through, 2 minutes.
Add the labaneh, warm through for another minute, then add the pasta and toss it in the sauce, adding a little bit of the pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with za’atar.