Yesterday I stumbled upon this recipe featured on Great British Chefs. The recipe gods must have been in sync with our kitchen, because we had all the necessary ingredients — even halloumi, which we had bought intending to grill on the weekend but didn’t because the weather hadn’t cooperated. I immediately sent the recipe to F, asking if he’d like that for dinner (and knowing he’d say yes — who can refuse the combination of cheese and noodles?).
Side note: After deciding to cook this pasta dish, I checked out its place of origin, The Cutlery Chronicles, which is a beautiful blog written and maintained by a Londoner. Let’s just say it didn’t take long for me to add the blog to my Reeder feed.
This recipe is so simple. It is fresh and light, yet filling. We enjoyed it as almost a noodle soup, taking Leyla’s advice to serve the noodles with some of the broth they are cooked in. The broth draws out the creaminess of the cheese and the lemon brightens everything up and complements the mint well. I added frozen peas to my version and used lamb stock rather than chicken stock. This dish is also perfect for a weeknight dinner, as it easily comes together in less than half an hour. It can be a full meal by itself but is also nice with a side of salad.
Halloumi-Mint Pasta with Peas & Lemon (slightly adapted from this recipe)
- 1 block or 250g of halloumi cheese, finely grated
- 2-3 tbsp dried mint
- handful of fresh mint, minced
- to taste: ground black pepper
- 1.5-2 liters of water + 1 lamb stock cube (or chicken or vegetable stock cube; or pre-made stock of choice)
- 350-400g whole wheat pasta of your choice (I used a combination of spiral noodles & spaghetti because that’s what we had in the house)
- 1.5 cups frozen peas
- 1 lemon
- Grate the halloumi and mix it with the mint and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring the water with stock cube to a boil, then add the pasta. The water should just cover the pasta, so pour out any excess you may have.
- Cook the pasta as directed on the package. Add the peas to the pasta water 5 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking.
- Prepare your bowls by spooning some of the cheese-mint mixture into the bottom of each shallow bowl.
- When the pasta is finished, ladle some pasta with broth into each bowl. Sprinkle more cheese mixture over this, then add another layer of pasta, if desired, and a final layer of cheese. Finish with up to half a lemon’s worth of fresh-squeezed juice.
- Serve the noodles warm, and don’t forget your soup spoon to polish off that broth!