Tuesday, April 7, 2009

fettuccine with yogurt & herbs

pastainyogurt

When I come across a recipe that I really want to try, I usually follow it to the letter so that I have an idea of how it should work, and then as soon as I'm done eating it, I am already coming up with ways to alter it. In this case, I can't say that I can come up with a single improvement.

The other day, I bummed a copy of Edible Portland (they're free in grocery stores around town) off my buddy so I could check out a recipe, and instead of making the one I'd planned to, I stumbled across this one instead. It requires prepping a day ahead, but since I plan my meals in advance, it wasn't a problem.

From Edible Portland (adapted from Cathy Whims, Chef/Owner, Nostrana)

2 cups whole milk yogurt
extra virgin olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
sea salt
1 lb fettuccine
2 cups fresh herbs (a mixture of chervil, basil, parsley, chives, and fennel frond) roughly chopped
2 oz Proscuitto di Parma, thinly sliced (optional)
1 bunch green onions
1 cup grated pecorino


1. The day before, fold a long piece of cheesecloth in fourths. Spoon yogurt into its center and tie the bundle to the center of a long, wooden spoon. Lay the spoon across a bowl, so that the yogurt drains- whey will drip into the bowl below. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove yogurt from cheesecloth and bring to room temperature. Discard whey. (Editor's note: that business with the spoon sounds rather complicated. If you have one of those wire colander things, you can just set the cheesecloth in it, then spoon the yogurt on top, then set it in a bowl. That's what I did.)

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions, toss well and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the onions turn creamy and golden brown. Turn heat to low if onions darken too quickly. While cooking, add salt to taste, a little at a time. The onions can be caramelized in advance and kept in the refrigerator. (That's what I did. It made dinner prep go a lot smoother.)

3. Bring a six-quart pot of water to a boil. Season with sea salt- enough so that the water tastes like seawater. Drop in pasta. Cook until al dente and drain, reserving a half-cup of water. (Whoops, I just realized I used a whole cup. Oh well.)

4. Place thickened yogurt in a large bowl and whisk with the reserved hot water. Toss pasta with yogurt until coated. Add caramelized onions, herbs, proscuitto, and green onions. Season with salt & pepper and toss well.

5. Place pasta in a warm serving bowl. Garnish with pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve.

(Makes 6 servings.)


Woo! The only thing I'd do differently next time is cut the recipe in half for my own little family. We were lucky to have a dinner guest this evening, or we'd surely have had a ridiculous amount of leftovers (though there's still a good sized portion sitting in my fridge right now). The tanginess of the yogurt was delicious, the caramelized onions gave the whole dish a sweet and savory touch, and the fresh herbs were delightful, of course. I loved that it had the weight and feel of a nice thick alfredo sauce, but without making me feel like total crap after I was done eating it. I didn't have any proscuitto or bacon or anything like that on hand, but next time I make this, I'm definitely going to throw some in. Because you know- meat.

35 comments:

Blue is Bleu said...

This looks so yum! I don't eat alfredo sauces because it always makes me feel really guilty, but this is a perfect replacement! Thanks! :D

kitchenlife said...

And if you have a wire colander and no cheese cloth you can use paper towel instead!

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

nice tip!

Pavlos Georgiadis said...

I did something similar a few years ago. But I used some red pasta I found (made with red chili). Hot things go really well with yogurt I think. :-)

Eliana said...

What a lovely and yummy looking pasta dish.

Angela said...

Wow, if you'd just sub out those herbs and add a bunch of "c" herbs (coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon) you could have some sort of tandoori pasta. Indian Italian fusion :-)

Carolyn said...

i love love love those Edible magazines. Edible Green Mountains just came out and i can't wait to try some of the recipes!

squirrelbread said...

Ohh great idea! I must applaud health swap-outs, but yes, prosciutto would be a lovely addition.

Cheers,

*Heather*

pulverschwein said...

I just made "yogurt cheese" last night and I always use a ceramic melitta drip cofee cone (It was my grandmas but I have seen them in stores lately) with the cone coffee filter inside....pour in the yogurt, place the cone on a coffee cup and set inteh fridge or on the counter overnight and then you justplop the yogurt out and toss the filter! Works like a charm! The recipe sounds dynamite, I will have to try it soon.
I mixed my yo-cheese with maple syrup, cardamom and vanilla and spread it on homemade bread.....yum! It is great with some fresh sliced fruit too! ~m

Katy said...

Wow, that sounds really really delish! I'd definitely add the prosciutto, myself.

Cucinista said...

I have been obsessed with Greek yogurt of late. What a yummy looking recipe this is! You are enabling my obsession.

Jessica said...

Your blog is so calming, I love the photography.

laura said...

That's so funny, I just posted a recipe that reminds me of this one. Our minds must be in the same place. I love the idea of using yogurt - it sounds so light & yummy!

kickpleat said...

This looks so good!! I'll definitely give this a try.

beckyferris said...

this looks delish!

Treehouse Chef said...

This looks delicious!

olga d said...

jeeeeezus. i've officially been on your blog for .. i don't know, way too long. i'm so inspired to go cook something delicious. or i should say attempt cooking something delicious, and possibly fail as it often happens when i'm overly excited about cooking.

anyway. ramble ramble. you're blog is fantastic. i'm very glad i found it.

beevr said...

I just had do let you know Ive cooked three or four of the recipes you post in the last 6 months. I really suck at cooking, but every time they are delicious. I cant wait to try this one. I'm also pretty much obsessed with your drawings. Keep it up!
-Barclay Rose

caoilinn said...

absolutely drooling...can't WAIT to try this.

Amy said...

This looks yummy, and so much better for you than Alfredo. I have homemade 2% yogurt, so I hope it works. Thanks for sharing!

Laura [What I Like] said...

I make something similar with sheep's milk yogurt...so delicious! Never added the ham though, I'll have to give that a try. You can also use Greek yogurt if you don't have a day to let the yogurt drain.

Jenn Sutherland said...

Wow. Sounds delicious...I have some leftover greek yogurt in my fridge, and I might make this with it, and skip the draining step. YUM.

Jessie Cacciola said...

I LOVE the Edibles. Portland's is great, and I'm actually interning with Edible Finger Lakes. Glad to see you enjoy them, too! :)

marjean said...

This does sound good. I make my own yogurt and am always looking for ways to use it in my cooking.
Love your blog!

LoveFeast said...

I'm thinking no fat greek yogurt would be a great substitute if watching the fat content! Can't wait to try this recipe!

Coconut Girl Connie said...

great, healthy alternative, I am going to make it, thanks!

perfectandtrue said...

I am not a cook. I seriously messed up a grilled cheese sandwich just this evening. I also don't bake. But your photos make food look so incredibly delicious that I'm going to put on an apron and try my hardest to make this fettuccine (and those yummy looking pink cake balls)!

Sweet Charity said...

Mmmmm!!
This kinda reminds me of a pasta type dish I had in Turkey that had thick yogurt all over the top...
Can't wait to make this!

Afton said...

this looks AMAZING. i'll definitely give it a try.

Mixing Bowl Mama said...

This sounds really interesting..I've just stumbled upon your blog and it's quite lovely....

green ink said...

OMG - yum! I've often used greek yoghurt as a substitute for cream in pasta sauces, and it is delicious! As well as herbs, I often add some rocket to the mix - gives it a lovely peppery bite!

Rebekka said...

Amazing when you can't improve upon a recipe!!!

Lota said...

This is one of my favorite recipes!
Originally, Cathy Whims made this recipe with Nancy's whole milk yogurt, which adds a tanginess that balances the sweet onions.

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

lota- yes, we used the nancy's whole milk yogurt too. it's really good!

Alix said...

I realize this is years late (and it looks like you don't food blog anymore?) but, I JUST stumbled upon your blog searching the net for acorn squash recipes.

Anywho, I was thinking of the part in this recipe that says to thicken the yogurt and throw the whey, and then, go ahead and add hot water... I don't know much, really, but I've read that whey is extremely good for you! So, just wanted to throw that in here, and say that I will try this recipe without straining the yogurt (and maybe not using any extra water..?)

Great ideas for great meals and eating healthy and all that stuff! I am stoked and just bookmarked you! Hmm, seems like there's something else I wanted to say but can't think of it... oh well.

Thanks for the fun reading and very useful posts!