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Recipe provided by Hetty McKinnon

Serves 4

My love for tahini originates in an unlikely place – yum cha. Tahini is ‘Asian sesame sauce’ by another name, a condiment that is widely used in Chinese cooking. At yum cha, sesame sauce is drizzled over pan-fried rice cakes to dramatic and delicious effect. This cross-cultural culinary utilisation symbolises the versatility of tahini. This is a show-stopping pasta dish, creamy and flavourful, that will soon be on high rotation around your dinner table.


Recommended pasta shape: spaghetti / linguine / orecchiette / rigatoni

500 g pasta

­150 g sugar snap or snow peas, trimmed

­150 g peas (fresh or frozen)

handful of mint leaves

juice of ½ lemon

extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

+ Herbed Tahini Sauce

135 g (½ cup) tahini

juice of ½ lemon

1 garlic clove, very finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

3 tablespoons roughly chopped mint leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

+ Substitute

Mint and parsley: basil


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta, stirring.

Cook according to the packet instructions until al dente, adding the sugar snaps or snow peas and the peas for the last 30 seconds and cooking until the veggies are crisp and bright green. Reserve 125 ml (½ cup) of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and veggies.

For the herbed tahini sauce, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, mint and 125 ml (½ cup) of water to a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, add more water to thin it down. Add the olive oil and stir to combine. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.

Add the herbed tahini to the pasta and veggies along with a splash or two of the reserved pasta cooking water and toss together to combine.

Transfer to individual serving plates and season with sea salt and black pepper. Scatter over a few mint leaves, add a squeeze of lemon juice and finish with a final drizzle of olive oil.


This recipe and more delicious recipes from Hetty McKinnon can be found in: Family by Hetty McKinnon, publishing by Plum, RRP $39.99, photo credit Luisa Brimble