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 actually cook. To the basic tomato sauce, yogurt was added.
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 really 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.
Fishballs Spaghetti with Tomato-Yogurt Sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- half a head of garlic grated
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 pimientos cored, seeded and chopped
- small handful of fresh basil sliced (or about 1 tsp. of dried basil)
- 1 kilogram fresh tomatoes chopped (or 2 28-oz. can of stewed tomatoes, crushed, and all the juices)
- a little sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- Heat the olive oil in a pot.
- Add the garlic, onion and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- 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.
- Pour in the yogurt and heat through without boiling.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Add the cooked pasta, or add to the cooked pasta, and toss.