Ikarian Noodles Recipe and Pairing

This Valentine’s Day, seduce your sweetheart with this tasty, ticker-friendly dish from Ikaria, the Greek isle where the local cuisine is said to rev the libido.

Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die—written by Diane Kochilas, a chef at New York’s temple of Greek wine and cuisine, Molyvos—focuses on a tiny island where the locals credit their remarkably long lives to ample wine, a greens-heavy diet—and lots of sex. This recipe is packed with fennel, an ingredient said to boost sexual desire. 

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, including wild fennel (or fennel fronds), mint, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound fettuccine or tagliatelle (or substitute pasta of your choice)
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Put the mixture in a bowl with the herbs, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to desired doneness.

Meanwhile, put the yogurt, remaining olive oil and lemon zest in a large bowl, then whisk in 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.

Drain the pasta and toss it together with the yogurt and herb mixtures. Season liberally with more salt and pepper, to taste, and serve. Garnish with additional herbs, if desired. Serves 2 (with plenty of leftovers).

Pair it

Kamal Kouiri, Molyvos’s wine director, loves to serve Gaia 14-18h Agiorgitiko Rosé. “Grown at a high altitude in the village of Asprokampos near Nemea, it’s a nice and clean rosé, with flavors of ripe summer berries,” says Kouiri. “The lush fruit will mellow out the tanginess of the yogurt while the acidity keeps your palate asking for more.”

Greece's Northern Bounty

Published on February 5, 2015
Topics: Food Recipes, Greek, Wine and Food Pairings
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net




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