by Dena Zigun

One a spring evening about three years ago, several young leaders in Boston huddled in Christy DeRoche’s kitchen, debating the right onion-to-lentil ratios for Mujadara – round two of the recipe testing story I shared for our Hanukkah post.  That night, we also enjoyed Cheese Sauce for Pasta, and a delicious albeit non-traditional Shakshuka, contributed by Oren, a participant on the Haifa University legal exchange with Suffolk.

created at: 2011-05-16We were slicing and dicing the final recipes to include in a new initiative from the Boston-Haifa Connection – the Young Leadership Division’s Boston-Haifa Cookbook.  And these dairy recipes offered some great new variations on the traditional Shavuot repertoire. 
Sprung from Stephanie Gertz’s visits with young leaders in Haifa, the cookbook was a trans-oceanic collaboration.  The Haifim pulled together their favorite recipes, from every day dinners to special occasion, made an attempt at translation, and sent them to Boston. 
In Boston, the new recipes were tested in cooking parties – proportions modified, selections adjusted to what’s available here…and mystery ingredients deciphered.  Moscow nut – with a few creative Google searches – became nutmeg.  And words became meals that brought us together.
Cooking somebody’s favorite recipe is an intimate affair.  The Garam Masala Chicken brought me to a new friend’s table.  The use of maple syrup in Vered’s favorite cake made me smile.  The cookbook project connected me deeply to Haifa without ever getting on a plane.
So in celebration of Shavuot, bring the gift of torah to your kitchen by ordering your copy of the Young Leadership Division Boston-Haifa Cookbook.  The proceeds help build more connections like the ones I experienced.  Even better, not only will you get delicious recipes with mouthwatering photos for everything from Hummus to Shashuka to Braised Beef Cheeks to Cheese Sauce for Pasta (the sample recipe below), you’ll also get transported to our sister city.  The cheese is sure to please on this holiday.

See a preview and order your copy today!

Cheese Sauce for Pasta

Contributed by Vered from Haifa

1 package farmer’s cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic
6 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package of pasta, your choice

In a pot, boil the pasta for 10 minutes and drain.
Mix 2 tsp of olive oil into the pasta and set aside.

Mix the remaining ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Mix sauce into pasta and enjoy!

Dena Zigun is the current chair of the Boston-Haifa Connection Young Leadership Committee

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