Fettucine pasta with Asparagus and Tahini Sumac Sauce

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on March 21, 2009

 

pasta with asparagus and tahini

Pasta is one of those foods that you can easily internationalize. Saute pasta with curry powder for an Indian touch. Mix it with coconut milk and green curry paste for a thai pasta. Today I made a middle eastern style pasta. Tahini makes a creamy base for the sauce. I added some sumac for a savory punch of flavor. Sumac, also spelled sumak, sumag or sumach is a dark red middle eastern spice. It tastes tangy and slightly cumin like and goes really well with pasta.

The inspiration for this tahini-sumac sauce comes from Lebanese za’atar. Za’atar is made with sesame seeds, sumac and thyme or oregano. I used tahini instead of sesame seeds to turn this into a creamy, addictively delicious sauce. And its vegan to boot! You can use any vegetable you like in this dish. Green beans or peas will be delicious.

Fettuccine pasta with Asparagus and Tahini-Sumac Sauce
Serves about 3

½ pound fettuccine pasta or any other flat pasta
3 tbsp tahini
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sumac
1-2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp dried oregano. You could also use dried thyme or Italian seasoning
1/3 cup olives, any kind will do
1 bunch asparagus
Salt and pepper

Fettucine and Asparagus in Tahini Sumac sauce

Bring plenty of water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water generously. Add pasta to the boiling water.

Trim and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Cut the rest of the asparagus into thirds and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, make the tahini-sumac sauce. Combine the tahini, vinegar, sumac, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add 6 tbsp of the boiling pasta water. Whisk the sauce with a fork till everything is well combined.

Fettucine and Asparagus in Tahini Sumac sauce

If you prefer not to use raw garlic, saute it for 30 seconds in olive oil and then add the garlic and oil to the sauce.

In the last one minute of cooking, add the chopped asparagus to the pasta pot. Boil for a minute. Drain the pasta and asparagus. The pasta must be al dente and the asparagus crisp and bright green.

Fettucine and Asparagus in Tahini Sumac sauce

Return the pasta and asparagus to the pot; add the sauce and toss the pasta till it is coated evenly is sauce.

Sprinkle chopped olives all over.

Garnish with chopped tomatoes or parsley.

Fettucine and Asparagus in Tahini Sumac sauce

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Comments

comments

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vegetation March 21, 2009 at 8:57 am

Mmm I just recently discovered Sumac and I loved it but wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I love this!

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2 li'l March 21, 2009 at 10:33 am

Gosh, your blog MUST be nominated for the best photoblog awards !

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3 Prathibha March 21, 2009 at 11:04 am

pasta with Tahini….sounds different…good one!!

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4 Asha March 21, 2009 at 11:54 am

Gorgeous looking dish. We love Fettucine Alfredo. Sumac is new to me, looks delicious, must try and find some. Good one VB! :)

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5 Soma March 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm

This is the best pasta dressing I have actually ever seen:-) For my love of tahini & sumac & everything else i can imagine how wonderful this is going to be.

I am hosting the Hay Hay Donna Day this time, & I think this would the perfect one except I myself put in guidelines saying it needs to have peppers:-( to conform to the original recipe.Darn:-( I bet this would have been it!

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6 DJ Karma March 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I’ve never tried sumac… thanks for the lesson and inspiring recipe!

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7 Happy cook March 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Sumac is really new to me.
Well i would love to have that pasta any time of the day.

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8 Cham March 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Sumac in pasta sounds very interesting. Love the asparagus shot!

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9 Varsha Vipins March 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Sumac is new to me too..the pics look so inviting ..vivd n yum..:)

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10 Dana Treat March 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Love the colors and I also LOVE sumac – doesn’t it have the most intoxicating flavor and smell?! Looks delicious.

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11 Pearl March 21, 2009 at 10:00 pm

i’ve never heard of sumac but it’s such a glorious color!

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12 Chris @ Beyond Ramen March 21, 2009 at 11:47 pm

What an intriguing sauce! I’ll have to experiment with sumac because it sounds like it would be right up my alley. I’m so glad I bought a tin of tahini – it’s so versatile!

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13 Laavanya March 21, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I once got a pack of sumac with something we ordered for take out but i didn’t even open the pack not knowing what it was / how it would taste – how ignorant of me…

Love the asparagus pic… and the pasta looks gorgeous.

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14 Daily Spud March 22, 2009 at 12:05 am

Fantastic! I finally got hold of some sumac, so this is definitely going on the list to try :)

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15 A_and_N March 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I have all the ingredients at home! should try this.

And your pics. Gosh, tell me how, how?

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16 Grace March 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm

tahini has only ever been used for hummus in my kitchen, so i’m excited to find a new use for it! and your photography is outstanding. :)

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17 Esi March 23, 2009 at 12:37 am

So colorful. I am loving all things asparagus right now.

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18 Superchef March 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm

sumac is something new to me, i should defenitely try it! and your pictures are just mindblowingly gorgeous!!!

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19 lisaiscooking March 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Wow, this is a great idea! It sounds just delicious.

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20 Sunshinemom March 25, 2009 at 12:56 am

Looks delicious:) I am searching for sumac here. I have read so much about it but unfortunately not found in Thane!

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21 Sophie March 25, 2009 at 2:31 pm

You’ve done a great job plating this, it’s a delicious and healthy meal that looks beautiful and fresh!

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22 miss v March 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

i am so bookmarking this! wow, i can’t believe how awesome this looks! thanks!

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23 Hayley March 27, 2009 at 2:08 am

That asparagus picture is incredible! And the recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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24 Sandie March 27, 2009 at 3:05 am

Once again, gorgeous photos and another delicious recipe. I love all the flavors here—especially finding a new use for tahini. Well done!

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25 Maryann March 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm

The asparagus in purple photo is beautiful!

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26 Katie March 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Tahini and za’atar are my two go-tos with recipes. Maybe b/c I’m lebanese and partial, but this looks FAAAAABULOUS! i MUST ask you, though – where on earth did you get that BEAUTIFUL platter!! I’d love to know if you could shoot me an email. Thanks! Love the blog. In my reader! :)

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27 DEESHA March 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm

that looks gorgeous .. I love fettucine pasta

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28 thecleanveggie March 28, 2009 at 3:07 am

this sounds absolutly amazing!!
the photographs are stunning too!

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29 Ulla March 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Gorgeous photos! Fantastic thank you!

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30 Olga April 1, 2009 at 12:34 am

that photo of asparagus is marvelous!!!!

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31 ttfn300 April 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

ooh, so fresh and lovely!! i haven’t tried sumac yet, but i’m intrigued :)

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32 Cindy DG April 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

YUM YUM YUM!! I love everything on your site!
Cindydg
I love having you on my blogroll!
http://vegetarianmamma.blogspot.com

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33 meeso April 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Wow, I’m not a pasta person but some recipes really catch me, like this one! It’s definitely getting bookmarked :)

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