My original Creamy Tomato Pasta (found here) is one of my favorite dishes to indulge in. It’s the kind of meal that invites you in and offers comfort after a long day. Unfortunately it offers little else. Filled with heavy cream and parmesan cheese it’s not exactly kind to your waist line or your heart.
When Clare at Peak 313 Fitness began her April “Try it” Challenge she kicked it off with Greek Yogurt. The goal was to incorporate Greek yogurt into your life at least 4 times in the week. This was a challenge I could do as I eat Greek Yogurt almost every day. I mix it in with my Granola. I eat various flavors as a treat in the evening. I love this stuff.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about incorporating Greek Yogurt into pastas and I have to say the substitution of the yogurt for cream worked out rather well. The resulting sauce was not as thick as the original but still retained the same aromatic, rich flavor and was a very enjoyable dish. Both my husband and I agreed that we felt a lot better after eating it (no heavy feeling to contend with) and I was able to go for a quick run right after dinner without feeling overwhelmed with fullness. That was fantastic!
I hope you enjoy this lighter version of a family classic. I have a feeling we’ll be relying on this version from now on.
- 4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
- 3-4 medium onions (depending on size)
- 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 boxes of cherry/grape tomatoes
- 1 box of cremini mushrooms
- 2 small cans of tomato sauce (or 1 large one)
- 2 tbsp of basil
- dash of pepper
- dash of salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 c Light Parmesan cheese
- 1 – 1 1/2 c non fat greek yogurt
- 2 packages of penne
While you are making the sauce throw a large pot of salted water on the stove and cook the penne according to the directions on the package. When it’s finished drain and set aside.
- chop the garlic into fine pieces
- place in a large pot with the olive oil and put on medium low. Saute until they are nice and toasty.
- While the garlic is sauteing, chop the onions into fine pieces.
- Throw them in.
- Continue sauteing the onions and the garlic, stirring occasionally. Use this time to prep your tomatoes and mushrooms. Clean the mushrooms (this can be done in advance) and slice into thin (but not too thin) pieces. Wash the tomatoes. Add them to the onion/garlic mixture. Cook this mixture until the tomatoes explode. You want them to be soft and chunky. Once this happens the mixture will be very watery. Cook that water off as you work on preparing the tomato sauce mixture.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the tomato sauce and greek yogurt. Add the yogurt at little at a time until your reach the creamy colour and texture you desire. Add the sugar and the dried basil. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
- When the tomato/mushroom mixture has reduced add the creamy tomato sauce mixture and stir until combined.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add in the 1/2 c of light parmesan cheese. Right before you’re ready to serve taste to determine if salt and pepper is needed. Stir well.
- Mix the sauce with the penne and cover. Allow to sit for an additional 5 minutes to set.
- Serve in individual bowls with 1 tbsp of Parmesan on top as a dressing.
- If you prefer fresh basil feel free to add it in at the end with the Parmesan Cheese so you don’t lose the flavor of the fresh herbs. I look forward to the summer when I have my pot of basil back!
- Be wary of adding too much salt. Because the Parmesan Cheese tends to add a salty flavor it’s important to taste the sauce to determine whether the addition of salt is needed. Ours didn’t require much salt and I added a bit of pepper.
- This makes about 6 servings. If you’re not serving 6 people, the recipe can easily be cut in half (unless you want planned leftovers, we always do!).
A Journey through Lent: Day 31