Tahini is one of my favorite ingredients in my pantry and I often use it in both savory sweet dishes. In this pasta, I balance out the earthy sesame butter with some fresh lemon juice to make it creamy, bright and tangy. It's the perfect pasta for when you want something flavorful and rich with a little bit of zing, too.
Make the vegetable mixture:1.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.2.
When the oil shimmers, add the diced shallot and saute until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.3.
Add the garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 4 minutes.4.
Add zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and translucent. Add a splash of water if the zucchini starts to burn.5.
Add grape tomatoes and cook until they soften.
Make the lemon-tahini sauce:6.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tahini, juice of 1 lemon, cumin, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.7.
Add one tablespoon of cold water at a time (about 4 to 5 total) to emulsify the sauce, until it reaches desired consistency. It should be smooth and creamy.
Make the pasta:8.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions.9.
Reserve 1 cup of the hot, starchy water and drain the rest.10.
Add the cooked pasta to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.11.
Pour sauce over the pasta and vegetables, stir to combine. Add pasta water if necessary to help bind the sauce to the pasta.12.
Season pasta with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.