Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zucchini and Yogurt Farfalle

Sometimes I head home from class with an ingredient in my mind, waiting for me in the fridge for a quick preparation. Tuesday night, I had butternut squash on my mind- I'd bought a package of pre-cubed squash a few nights prior and was looking forward to my first time cooking with it. Since it had been a long day of work and class, I was picturing an Ina Garten butternut squash risotto recipe; something warm and comforting seemed just the thing for that evening.

Unfortunately, my plans hit a snag in the form of some suspicious mold on the squash. Walking the two blocks to Whole Foods was definitely not in my energy level, so I had to figure out a Plan B involving the next fresh vegetable in my fridge: two zucchini. Thankfully, I remembered a recipe that I got this summer at the U Street farmer's market and it proved to be just what I wanted after a long day.

Pasta is my ultimate comfort food, and adding zucchini to the pasta is something I love to do once I tried this recipe the first time; somehow it feels just a little bit healthier and more virtuous than a straight bowl of pasta, and it looks so pretty. Spring is unfortunately still a few weeks away here in D.C., but when I eat this, it doesn't seem quite so far away.

(leaning tower of Zucchini)

The method here couldn't be simpler- wash and grate zucchini while salted water boils for pasta, add pasta (I like farfalle or ziti with this); cook pasta for roughly 6-8 minutes until it is a little bit more than al dente (about 1-2 minutes from being perfectly cooked) and then add the zucchini to the pot; drain pasta and zucchini together; toss Greek yogurt, butter, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper into the pot and stir together; add pasta and zucchini; toss; eat.

(that's it!)

Well, almost- I had to add a meat product, so some salami seemed just the thing. But that part is entirely optional, although I definitely think most things are better with pork products (sorry, Mom!).

I also think that this sauce is really versatile, as a nice alternative to a heavy cream or Alfredo-style sauce for pasta, and it even keeps well- just add a splash of water when reheating the pasta and sauce to bring it back to life after the microwave.

-Serves 1-2

* 1/2 lb. farfalle or other small pasta
* 2 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded on a grater
* 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
* 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
* Nutmeg
* Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the farfalle until just before al dente (roughly 6-8 minutes). About 1 minute before the pasta is done, add the shredded zucchini to the pot. Cook for 1 minute more and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

2. Melt the butter over low heat in the pot, then remove from heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt and Parmesan cheese, then season with the lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.

3. Add the farfalle, zucchini, and reserved pasta water to the pot and cook over low heat, tossing until the sauce coats the pasta. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.


  1. This looks delicious. Instead of checking out FoodNetwork or Epicurious, I'm just going to check out your blog for meal ideas :

  2. high five!!! i move to relabel this as the "idiot-proof delicious pasta" because I made it without burning myself, with only asking you like 2 questions, and without drinking to calm my nerves. I'm tempted to eat my own weight in zucchini & yogurt farfalle.