3 No-Cook Pasta Sauce Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Pepper, harissa and tomato pasta sauce

Total time:20 minutes

Servings:4 to 6

Total time:20 minutes

Servings:4 to 6


You know that little tingle of excitement you get when Netflix is ​​about to release a new season of your favorite show? I have this feeling when I find out Sabrina Ghayour is about to release a new cookbook.

Recently, I tore open a thick envelope and found an advance copy of his “Persiana Everyday.” The book is due out in October.

I’m a fan because Ghayour writes for the harassed home cook who wants great flavor.

“I cook every day. I’ve been cooking every day since I was a kid – every meal at home,’ she said in a phone call from her home in the UK. The British Iranian chef wrote about growing up as an only child in a home with parents who didn’t cook. She attributes this to freeing her from the shackles of lore and giving her room to experiment.

When I asked Ghayour about the skill of his well-written recipes, the author of six cookbooks said, “I’m incredibly lazy. I don’t like washing things if I don’t have to.

She often describes herself as “stubborn”, saying she sticks to classic cooking techniques, but in her day-to-day life as a working mother-in-law, she leans into efficiency and strays from what she calls ” mum’s cooking”, cooking it in her own way. it has always been done, following precise rules, a firm list of ingredients and using several bowls, pots and pans.

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“I wanted to be a commercially available Middle Eastern girl,” she said of her food writing and recipe development. “I want people to cook from my books – not have an amazing feast that took 15 hours to cook and then put the book back on the shelf.

“If you really want to tell the truth, there really isn’t a lot of authenticity in this book, because I made it up.

“My whole philosophy and style is about taking things out of the perspective of what we don’t need. If, as Persians, we have certain ingredients that you have to look for, I say to myself, don’t use them.

Make this Sabrina Ghayour recipe: Nuts, Spinach and Herbs with Zucchini Pasta Sauce

Example: several simple recipes feature rose harissa, Tunisian chili paste with rose petals, or water for a more floral note.

I told her I had a hard time choosing one recipe from her latest cookbook because I’m tempted by so many others, including her Lemon Harissa Roast Chicken Thighs, in which the chicken is covered with a mixture of harissa, yogurt, lemon juice and zest and cooked until lightly charred.

“I’m doing them right now,” she says. “I really do them all the time. They’re just like a two-minute highlight. I can have the chicken with wraps or rice and tomorrow it will go into a curry.

When I mentioned how often she uses harissa in her recipes, Ghayour said, “I live in a village with no groceries, no shops, so I use the same things over and over again.”

Harissa brings the spiciness in these 5 recipes

Harissa is one of the condiments she highly recommends home cooks keep on hand because it’s so versatile. (If you buy a jar, you can also use it to make the Harissa Chicken Noodle Lettuce Cups from her “Simply: easy everyday meals” recipe book.)

“It’s great mixed into pasta sauces. It is excellent in stir-fries to make it spicy. It is excellent in vinaigrette. It’s great in butter compounds. It’s just that completely giving ingredient that you can’t stop using. Still, she says, if you don’t have it, substitute your favorite chili paste.

Make this Sabrina Ghayour Recipe: Yogurt, Tarragon, and Pistachio Pasta Sauce

“In terms of food, [the pandemic] was an upbringing I never expected,” she said. “It made us realize that as kitchen professionals, we’re lucky that our pantries are a little better stocked with a little [hard-to-find] Ingredients.”

The recipe I finally settled on is a 10-minute no-bake recipe. Pepper, harissa and tomato pasta saucewhich has multiple uses.

Ghayour encouraged me to quickly imagine frying bone-in chicken thighs, then cooking them with this sauce and a handful of salted black olives. The pepper sauce is also excellent with cubed potatoes for a patatas bravas style dish or with lamb meatballs.

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She included recipes for two other no-cook pasta sauces on the same page, and I tried those as well.

She also recommends serving the Nuts, spinach and herbs with zucchini pasta sauce on thin breaded chicken cutlets with a squeeze of lemon, while the Yogurt, tarragon and pistachio pasta sauce goes well with lamb or kefta skewers.

These three sauces freeze perfectly. I know this because I made them all overnight and tasted them all, then froze the leftovers.

And, if Ghayour writes another cookbook, which I hope and think she will, I’ll probably write about that one too. Keep being stubborn, Mrs. Ghayour.

Pepper, harissa and tomato pasta sauce

This no-cook spicy red sauce comes together in about 10 minutes in a blender. It’s so easy to make, it can be done before your pasta has finished boiling. The dish can be a quick and easy weeknight meal, but it also works well as a side dish with simply cooked proteins, such as steak, grilled chicken, lamb or tofu.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftover sauce for up to 3 days; freeze for up to 1 month.

Or buy: Make your own rose harissa, or find it in international markets or online.

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  • 1 pound of your favorite pasta shape
  • Fine salt
  • 2 large red, orange or yellow bell peppers (14 ounces total), cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pink harissa
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Fill a large saucepan with water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Salt lightly, add pasta and cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, place the peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and harissa in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over and, using tongs or two large forks, toss to coat well. Serve family style, with parmesan, if desired.

Per serving (1 1/3 cup pasta, 1/3 cup sauce), based on 6

Calories: 364; Total fat: 6 g; Saturated fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 168mg; Carbohydrates: 67g; Dietary fiber: 5g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 12g

This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.

Of “Daily Persian” by Sabrina Ghayour (Hachette, 2022).

Tested by Ann Maloney; questions by e-mail to [email protected].

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