Yogurt in My Pasta

Lunch last Wednesday was a pasta dish that made use of leftovers. I had excess yogurt from last Saturday’s chicken and mangoes in yogurt and there was enough grilled fish from the previous night’s dinner to make a decent number of fish balls. Yes, those are fish balls that you see in the photo. Flaked fish mixed with chopped onions, garlic, herbs, eggs, and bread crumbs.

Where’s the yogurt? In the sauce. Adding cream or sour cream to tomato sauce is nothing new but have you ever tried substituting yogurt for the cream or sour cream? It’s delicious! I’m not going to talk about the fish balls in this entry since they are not essential to this recipe. It’s just that I had leftover grilled fish and I wanted to turn them into something nice instead of simply reheating them. What I want to tell you about is the sauce. The sauce is just basic tomato sauce. Not tomato sauce from the can or pouch but tomato sauce that you cook. There are a lot of recipes for basic tomato sauces out there; here’s mine.

Add the pimientos and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes (and juices, if using canned). Season with salt (start with a teaspoonful), pepper (about half a teaspoonful), and a pinch of sugar. Add the basil and stir well. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes (without adding water) until thick. Adjust the seasonings before serving.

  1. With cream or sour cream. Just before tossing the pasta in, pour in the cream or sour cream (1 part cream or sour cream for 4 parts of tomato sauce) and heat through without boiling. Add the pasta (or pour over pasta) and toss. Serve at once.
  2. With yogurt. Using the same 1:4 ratio, pour in the yogurt and heat through without boiling. Add the cooked pasta, or add to the cooked pasta, and toss.

Does pasta sauce with yogurt taste radically different from pasta sauce with sour cream? Not really. I’ve been substituting yogurt for sour cream in a lot of dishes lately, including baking projects, and there is no discernible difference in the cooked dish. Okay, there might be for the real connoisseur but since we’re cutting down on the fat, I’m happy enough that we don’t need to ingest the cream fat by substituting yogurt.