I’ve always been afraid of zucchini. It’s technically a squash, and I really dislike squash. I haven’t had a squash I liked, though I am always willing to try a variation I haven’t had before. Except, now, for the zucchini. I’m no longer afraid of this little guy! And really, it’s more like a cucumber than a squash so it’s more like a gate-way squash, hopefully leading me on to better and brighter futures with this quite popular and inexpensive produce genre.
This was a Pinterest find, and a good one at that. It was adapted from a Jillian Michaels recipe by Rebecca Crump of EzraPoundCake.com. This turned out to be a great dinner for after a workout. It was light enough to not sit in my stomach like a rock, and substantial enough that I was satisfied, and it’s not filled with fatty beef or sour cream (our usual no-time-to-cook staples). I did slightly change the recipe, twice on purpose and once on accident. First, on purpose: we added sliced mushrooms, and any time you add mushrooms you have to add a little bit more olive oil because they soak up the oil so fast. Also, I used about half the salt because I never cook with salt. That was not the right thing to do. This dish needs the salt. Now for the accident: I, unwittingly, bought vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain. Why do they have the same color container?! Sigh. It still turned out ok, though it was a little sweet. Oh yeah, and I also forgot to purchase parmesan cheese so that wasn’t in there either. I was really bummed about that because I think it would have tasted amazing.
Pasta & Zucchini with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from EzraPoundCake.com
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 1/2 C nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium (8-ounce) zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- Cook pasta according to package directions and desired doneness. Reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water, and set it aside. Drain the pasta. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, Parmesan, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook just until wilted, flipping them over occasionally with a spatula. (The zucchini will be soft and somewhat see-through.)
- Push zucchini to the side of the pan, add the garlic to the cleared space in the middle, and cook for 15 to 30 seconds, until golden. Mix the garlic into the zucchini.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the tomatoes.
- Transfer the zucchini mixture to the yogurt mixture, and stir to combine. Add the pasta, and toss gently to combine. Add the reserved pasta cooking water a tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to thin it. Serve with grated parmesan on top.
I’ll add the full amount of salt next time (I only added about 1/8 tsp instead of 1/4), I will be SURE to buy plain greek yogurt instead of vanilla, and I will make sure I have Parmesan cheese on hand. Otherwise, this dinner was great and I’ll be making it again.