Harissa Verde Orecchiette with Red and Yellow Cherry Tomatoes

Harissa comes from North Africa and adds a spicy kick to dishes. Use several colors of cherry tomatoes for contrast and eye appeal. Sliced grilled chicken or fish would be a good addition to this vegetarian recipe from Barilla America.

3 lb. Barilla Collezione Orecchiette
1/2 cup roughly chopped shallots
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
4 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped
4 bunches cilantro
4 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
16 cups red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. Puree the shallots, garlic, jalapenos, poblanos, cilantro, cumin, and olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For each serving, to order: Reheat 1 cup pasta in simmering water. Drain and add to a pan with some harissa sauce and 2/3 cup tomatoes. Toss and heat through. Plate and garnish with 2 tablespoons feta.