Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pasta with Yogurt Sauce

Here is another Lebanese recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Taste of Beirut.  I had never seen the combination of pasta and yogurt before but this was delicious!!  I used thick Greek yogurt; a mix of full-fat and fat-free (what I had on hand).  I reduced the yogurt from 3 cups to 2; just use as much as you think you need.  You can use whatever pasta you want; I used wagon wheel because it's fun.  I also made my own Lebanese Seven-Spice for this.  I forgot to take a photo of that, so I will share that recipe at a later date.  You can see it here, though (scroll down). 

I LOVED the flavors of this, and it was so easy, too!  I can't wait to make it again.  My 10-month old loved it.  I just did not give him any of the pine nuts.  It's good to expose babies to different flavors and spices like this.  Hopefully he'll always enjoy eating such things.  :)  The leftovers of this were good, too.  I warmed it in the microwave just enough so it wasn't cold anymore.

Pasta with Yogurt Sauce
adapted from Taste of Beirut

8 oz dry pasta (any shape)
1/4 pound lean ground beef
1 onion
2-3 cups yogurt (I used 2)
1/4 cup tahini
3 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar with a pinch of salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup pine nuts, previously toasted in a dry skillet till golden-brown
salt, to taste
1 tsp spices such as seven-spice or red Aleppo pepper ( more if needed)
butter, as needed (or olive oil)

1.  Cook the pasta as directed. Coat in a little butter or a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside. Chop the onion, heat some butter or oil in a skillet, and fry the onion till golden; add the meat and fry till browned with the spices. Drain the meat if needed of most of its fat.

2.  In a bowl, add the yogurt, mix in the tahini and mashed garlic as well as the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more tahini or garlic to taste. Transfer the sauce to the pasta and mix to combine well. Add the ground meat and onion, and finally sprinkle the pine nuts. Sprinkle with additional Seven-spice, if desired.  Serve at room temperature.

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