If you asked me what my favorite cheese is, I would not be able to pick just one, but I can assure you that haloumi would be a top contender. I enjoy the firm texture, and when fried, it yields a crispy, salty skin that’s irresistible. Using it to top this pasta, which has a fresh, creamy flavor from the pesto, makes for the perfect balance of flavors.
Fried Haloumi Spaghetti with Basil-Mint Pesto
- Cooking and Prep: 35 m
- Serves: 6
Cook the Pasta
Cook the pasta in a large pot filled with salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the reserved cooking water, pecorino, Kalamata olives, salt, and pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Carefully stir in the pasta and cook until heated through. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with half the pesto, adding more if needed.
Fry the Haloumi Strips
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the haloumi strips and fry without stirring until the bottoms of the strips are well browned.
Using a spatula, flip the strips and fry on the other side until browned. Transfer to a plate. Pour out the remaining oil.
For the Pesto
Blend the pistachios, mint, basil leaves, garlic, and olive oil in a blender or food processor.
If the paste seems too thick, add more olive oil.
To serve, layer the pasta, fried haloumi strips, and more pecorino. Serve hot.