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Whole Wheat Shells with Tahini, Radishes, and Chives

Whole Wheat Shells with Tahini, Radishes, and Chives. Photograph by Evi Abeler

Whole Wheat Shells with Tahini, Radishes, and Chives

Leigh Belanger and Rebecca Haley-Park
With a dense, rich sauce, this pasta evokes stovetop mac and cheese—but the addition of nutty tahini, sweet roasted radishes, and bright chives keeps things light.
Servings 4


  • ½ pound small radishes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces whole wheat shells
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped chives divided


  • Heat oven to 450°F. Halve radishes, then toss with olive oil and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange cut side down and roast 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender and caramelized around the edges. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook shells to al dente according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Add garlic, mascarpone, sour cream, tahini, lemon juice, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a large skillet and warm over medium-low heat (do not boil).
  • Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the sauce. Let pasta sit for 2 to 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  • Add ¼ cup pasta water to the skillet and toss until a creamy sauce forms (add additional water as needed). Add ½ the radishes and ½ the chives and toss again. Divide pasta among 4 shallow bowls and garnish with remaining radishes and chives.

Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's former editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington.

Photographer Evi Abeler

Evi Abeler is a food and still life photographer based in New York City. She helps art directors, cookbook authors and designers to communicate the love, passion and thought that goes into every project and creates modern, yet classic images. Her clients in advertising, publishing, hospitality and retail include Food & Wine Magazine (which named her Digital Food Award Winner), Harper Collins Publishing and Whole Foods Markets.

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.