Chefs Clare Lattin and Tom Hill of popular London restaurant Ducksoup, offer the best of simple, seasonal cooking in their debut cookbook.
Orzo Pasta, Spicy Tomato Sauce & Feta
The Italians use orzo in soups and stews, as it’s a good way to bulk out a dish without filling yourself up too much. Feta gives this dish an added saltiness, but not in the same way that Parmesan would— it’s more gentle. This dish reminds of how good a well-made feta can be. We love this dish as a summer weeknight supper.
1 lb [500 g] large tomatoes (we love Pink Oxheart tomatoes)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp dried chile flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
4 oz [120 g] orzo pasta
3½ oz [100 g] feta
Few leaves of fresh oregano
First skin the tomatoes. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Using a sharp knife, score a little cross at the base of the tomatoes and cut out the “eye” of the tomato at the other end. Have a large bowl of ice water ready, and once your water is boiling submerge the tomatoes for 15 seconds, then immediately plunge them into the ice water. You’ll be able to peel off their skins immediately. Set to one side.
In a large frying pan, temper the cumin and nigella seeds in the olive oil over low heat for 1 minute, then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, chile flakes, bay leaf, and paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, add to the onions, and simmer for 10 minutes. You’re looking for a soupy consistency, so if you need to add a little water, then do so. Season with salt and pepper. While your sauce is cooking, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and cook your orzo pasta for 10 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain and add to the tomato sauce.
Let everything cook together for a couple of minutes. To serve, divide between two bowls, crumble the feta over, and sprinkle with the fresh oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
Recipes and photos from Ducksoup The Wisdom of Simple Cooking by Clare Lattin and Tom Hill (Chronicle Books).
This original article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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