Not all my ideas start out as good ones. Take this Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni for instance. Looks good, doesn’t it? Kind of classy even. I mean, it certainly wouldn’t be out of place in a date night scenario. Do you want to know how it started life? You probably don’t but I’m going to tell you anyway. This semi-elegant, all-over delicious pasta dish was originally a sorry substitute for sour cream and onion potato chips. I had a craving but I couldn’t justify caving. So, I did the next best thing, I channeled that craving into something equally cravable but a little more dinner appropriate: pasta.Jump to Recipe
Now, I know what you’re thinking, that sounds like a whole mess of bad decisions. Turning a chip flavor into a pasta sauce doesn’t sound like something winners do. But I did it and I was quite simply floored by the results. Once I took a bite of this Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni, I knew it had to grace the blog. But I also knew it had to be a bit more bougie. Enter the citrus cured egg yolks.
If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning (I’m so very sorry) you may recognize the cured egg yolk. I shaved one over a certain Miso Risotto back in medieval times. Back then I added perilla as my aromatic, today I opted for lemon to put the “spring” in this spring dish.
For a food item that requires little more than patience, these cured egg yolks give a lot in return. If all goes according to plan, these golden orbs should emerge from their salt and sugar cure as full-on umami bombs. Aside from their new-improved flavor, these yolks also solidify enough to be grated, shaved and sprinkled. And when curls of shaved egg yolk make contact with hot pasta, they turn into what can only be described as “liquid carbonara”. Yeah, you’re going to want to make these a part of your life.
Now, at this point, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking the cured egg yolks were the focal point of today’s dish. But don’t count this Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni out because it is certainly no slouch. It is everything you want in a creamy pasta and more. And I say more because it has that perfect amount of acidity, that wakes up your tastebuds like no mac and cheese ever could. Oh, and did I mention, without the cured egg yolks, this entire meal takes 30 minutes to make from nose-to-tail. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been able to say that. However, because I’m not a five-ingredient, express-meal kind of blogger, I am going to insist that you make the egg yolks. But having said that I have absolutely no power over you, so I guess do what you want.
The sauce for this Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni could not be simpler. All you have to do is finely chop some scallions and throw them in a pan with some butter and olive oil. Sweat them a little and then blitz them. Pour the scallion puree back into the pan and stir in a whack of yogurt. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and toss with hot pasta. Honestly, if you’d never seen a frying pan before, you could still make this recipe.
As a finishing touch and an ode to green, I added arugula to the pasta as well as a sprinkling of pistachios for a little extra crunch. Feel free to add any type of veg, raw or cooked, to this dish. I think it would be absolutely divine with roasted asparagus or zucchini as well.
Now, before I leave you to whip up this Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni with Citrus Cured Egg Yolks, I will answer what is no doubt the most pressing question you have. Does the pasta taste like the chips? You know what? It kind of does. I mean it has a sharper tang that any sour cream and onion chip I’ve enjoyed but I think that’s a pro more than a drawback. Now that I am an adult that enjoys bold flavors, I can honestly say, I’d take a bowl of this pasta over a bag of chips any day.
So, that’s the scoop on this chip-inspired pasta. This Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni is honestly so good, it might just obliterate your chip habit.
Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni with Citrus Cured Egg Yolks
Citrus Cured Egg Yolks
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 egg yolks
Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni
- 500 g (17.5 oz) rigatoni dried
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 scallions finely chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- handful arugula
- 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios coarsely chopped
- 2 Citrus Cured Egg Yolks shredded
Citrus Cured Egg Yolks
- Whisk the salt, sugar and lemon zest together. Spread half of the mixture in an even layer along the base of a medium-sized container.
- Using the back of a tablespoon, create two indents in the salt/sugar mixture. Place the yolks in the indents and gently cover them with the remaining salt/sugar mixture. Seal the container and place it in the fridge. Leave the eggs to cure for 48 hours.
- Once 48 hours have elapsed, preheat the oven to 200°F. Take the yolks out of the salt/sugar mixture and rinse. Set them on a drying rack suspended over a baking tray. Bake for 2 hours or until the yolks reach the texture of hard cheese.
- Take the yolks out of the oven and let cool completely before storing.
Scallion Yogurt Rigatoni
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook according to the package’s directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter and heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is foamy and the oil is shimmering, add the scallions and a healthy pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the scallions for 3-5 minutes or until fairly soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Transfer the scallions to a food processor. Add the garlic and blitz until smooth. Pour the puree into the skillet and return to low heat.
- Add the yogurt, salt and onion powder to the skillet and stir to combine. Gently heat the mixture until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Turn off the heat.
- At this point, the pasta should be done. Drain the rigatoni and add it to the skillet. Toss to coat with sauce.
- Divide the pasta amongst four bowls. Add a smattering of arugula, a handful of chopped pistachios, and a healthy sprinkling of shredded cured egg yolk. Serve immediately.