Thursday, May 17, 2007

The heart of the matter: pasta

Ilva is the host for this month's Heart of the Matter, a foodblogging event dedicated to heart-friendly recipes. An event after my own heart (no pun intended) as I don't only like to cook but I also like to cook healthily. If you like creamy pasta sauces but have to give them a miss because they don't agree with your diet, then I've got just the thing for you: pasta with yoghurt. The combination sounds unlikely but it does work if you use good-quality greek yoghurt, such as Total which is strained to remove the whey. Without it, the yoghurt doesn't curdle when heated (but not boiled!), even the low-fat and fat-free versions which I used here. I found the recipe on the Total website, check it out if you want to find out more about cooking with yoghurt. For another creamy, yet heart-friendly pasta dish, I recommend the pasta with smoked haddock, a variation of which you'll also find here on my blog.

Pasta with mixed mushrooms, greek yoghurt and herbs (serves 2)

  • 160g pasta (wholewheat for extra-healthiness if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 150g mixed mushrooms, wild if you can get hold of them, cleaned and sliced
  • 150-200g greek yoghurt, such as Total 0% or 2%
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 10 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook the pasta until al dente. While it is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up a little and sauté the mushrooms until cooked, adding the parsley after a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and add to the mushrooms and mix. Add the yoghurt to the pan and mix thoroughly. The pasta and mushrooms must be piping hot when you add the yoghurt but make sure not to boil it as the yoghurt will curdle (which doesn't affect the taste, only the looks of the dish). Stir in the basil and check the seasoning. Serve immediately.

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