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Zaatar-spiced vegetable pasta with haloumi

Following our return home from the 10 day culinary adventure in China, we were craving Western food big time. As requested by Mr Chipconnoisseur pasta, pizza and good sourdough bread became the order of the week.

To help us stay on track with our vegetarian commitment I whipped up this delicious spicy pasta one night and it hit just the right spot. Plain dry pasta (spirals or penne) is also great in this recipe, but for a more filling version, I used store-bought spinach and ricotta ravioli.

In order to add a little exotic flavour to the dish I used just a smidgen of Sami’s Kitchen wonderful, additive free Zaatar spice blend. It’s a very versatile and flavourful mix which can be used on anything from chicken and beef, through to salad dressings and topping for yoghurt or bread. Amazing!

Even the kids liked it and they were very excited to use their new panda chopsticks to eat up their dinner. I just omitted chilli haloumi from their version and substituted it with some grilled fish.

Serves 4

Spicy vegetable pasta with haloumi

You could stir fry some chorizo through with the vegetables or top the dish with some grilled fish if you like. Any type of bite-sized pasta will work, even filled ravioli.

{Printable recipe}

For the pasta:

  • 100g pasta of your choice – I used spinach and ricotta ravioli

For the haloumi and vegetables:

  • 180g haloumi cheese – I used Lemnos haloumi with chilli
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 6 button mushrooms
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 1 tsp Sami’s Kitchen Zaatar spice blend
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil

To serve:

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise

To make the pasta: cook according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.

To make the vegetables: wash and pat dry all veges apart from the mushrooms. Slice button mushrooms in half, chop zucchinis and capsicum into bite sized pieces. Trim broccolini, reserving florets.

Heat oil in a medium pot and add capsicum. Cook over medium high heat for a minute, then add zucchini, broccolini and mushrooms. Aprinkle with spices and cook, stirring for another 2 minutes or so. Add cooked pasta and stir through.

To make the haloumi: slice haloumi into 0.5cm thick slices. Place a heavy-based frypan, no oil, over high heat. Add haloumi slices and fry until golden brown on both sides – this will only take about a minute or two. Remove from pan and slice into bite-sized squares.

To serve: mix grilled haloumi in with the vegetable pasta and mayonnaise and divide between 4 serving bowls. Serve hot, warm or even cold the next day if you have some leftovers.

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17 comments

Sherilyn @ Wholepromise November 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Looks fab! – hope you had a great trip but there is no place like home…..

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Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide November 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

This has me drooling. So colorful and cooked to perfection.

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Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan November 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I just can’t get enough of that “squishy” texture of haloumi on my teeth!

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Mez November 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

This looks PERFECT for a mid week meal, I’d totally do this as a side with a piece of steak!! EEEP!!! I know you’re going the vegetarian route but i can’t help it!!!!!

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rsmacaalay November 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

That looks so good, I love haloumi! BTW that chopsticks looks so cute.

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sara (Belly Rumbles) November 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hehe love that the kids are in to their panda chopsticks, they are very cute! I am a big haloumi fan.

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saffronandhoney November 15, 2011 at 12:47 am

I love everything about this recipe – new dish ideas for using my zaatar spices (love it and use it in everything), broccoli/rabe, and haloumi!

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Sissi November 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

Haha! I remember as a child I loved everything spicy and hot, so I would snatch the haloumi from your plates 😉 This pasta looks excellent! Even though I love Asian cuisine, I can imagine I would crave Western dishes after 10 days of Chinese food.

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Courtney November 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

Love this! And those chopsticks are adorable!! (Also glad to see you got your printable recipes set up, too!) 🙂

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Shu Han November 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

I’ve heard so much about zaatar, really curious to try that spice blend sometime! btw, i LOVE those chopsticks.

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Christy November 15, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I know how it feels, when you travel to a foreign country which serves nothing of your everyday food and though you enjoy sampling the new types of food, you still miss your usual food and when you get back, it’s time to load on them!:p

What a lovely dish this is, I don’t have panda chopsticks, but I would dig in all the same with my good ol’ chopsticks!:)
P.S: I love your kids’ panda chopsticks too!!! So cute!:D

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terri November 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

lovely photos and that fork’s cool. and the chopsticks too:))

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed November 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

Coming back from Asia all I was craving was pasta, toast and yoghurt 🙂 This looks so delicious! How good is Zaatar?! Best.
Heidi xo

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Miss Piggy November 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

This is a combination of ingredients I never would have thought go together, but it looks so simple and tasty that I’m going to attempt it at home.

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Nami | Just One Cookbook November 17, 2011 at 6:24 am

I can totally relate for craving home cooked comfort food. I have the same problem when I continue to eat Western food (American food) for like 3 days while traveling some places where there are not too many Asian food. But lately I have the weird problem of missing Western food when I come back from Asia. I never had that problem before! I’m becoming more Americanized I guess? This is a fabulous recipe. I love the colors, flavors and I’d love to try haloumi for the first time too!

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Kay aka Babygirl November 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

This Zaatar-spiced vegetable pasta looks so colorful.. and delicious. Amazing recipe and post 🙂

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promenadeplantings November 28, 2011 at 8:23 am

This looks delicious, I’ve had Zaatarbefore but thanks to you I’ll now try it with veggies and pasta. Those Panda chopsticks are sooooooo cute!

Reply

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