Moroccan spiced pasta

By Vijaya Selvaraju
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Ingredients

  • 225 grams spaghetti (cooked until al dente, pasta water reserved)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed (or a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 yellow/red pepper, seeded and cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh chopped mint and parsley
  • Wedges of lemon to garnish

Directions

  1. Add olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat, and add green olives. Cook until the olives become a little blistered on the outside and start to crackle. Then add ginger, garlic, onion, and carrots and sauté until softened and fragrant.
  2. Sprinkle spices over vegetable mixture, and sauté for 10-15 seconds to warm them through before adding chicken breast (or chickpeas). Stir to coat chicken in spiced oil and cook until cooked through.
  3. Add tomatoes, and peppers to the pan and cook for two to three minutes to soften. Stir in green peas, honey and salt to taste and cook until peas have heated through.
  4. Add drained pasta and approximately 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pot with the sauce, and toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon zest, and fresh herbs.
  5. Plate and serve with a squeeze of lemon over the top.

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