If you have any interest in food blogs (which I hope you do since you are here) you have probably heard of The Pioneer Woman, she is quite popular, not to mention amazing. I really truly enjoy her writing, her food, and almost every aspect of her blog in general. However; I don’t know how that woman keeps her butt so tiny because she is channeling a whole lotta Paula Dean in that ranch kitchen of hers. Not all of her recipes are like this…but most of the ones I want to try are. As it turns out, I also love cream and butter and delicious things like that. My butt begs to differ, so I have decided to take one of her recipes and lighten it up. I have never met a lemon I didn’t like- so when I came across this recipe, I had to try it.
When I made this for dinner the boyfriend said…wow this is delicious, what kind of cheese is it? I am so sneaky! It was a combination of lemon juice, 0% Greek yogurt, olive oil, butter, and garlic. For those of you who are familiar with cheese making, yes, this does include some of the same ingredients as cheese so in reality I guess it is a littttttle bit like cheese- but for a low fat satisfying version, I’ll take it. If you’re familiar with noodle kugel, this has a similar consistency. This is savory, however, whereas kugel is sweet, but the cottage cheese-like consistency is similar.
The Pioneer Woman’s original recipe calls for sour cream, and since I often sub out Greek yogurt for sour cream, I decided to try it in this recipe as well. While you could use low fat sour cream in this, I have always found that to be less than satisfying, it’s always rather runny and not very creamy, where as Greek yogurt has a really luscious thickness to it. I also decided to omit the parmesan cheese since Greek yogurt has a bit more tang than sour cream, and I just added an extra sprinkle of salt at the end to account for it. (Confession- I actually forgot to add the parmesan, but half way through the meal I realized I forgot it, and decided it didn’t need it).
Recipe modified from The Pioneer Woman, link to the original here.
1 Lb thin spaghetti
2 Tbs salted butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 whole lemon, zested and juiced
2 cups 0% fat Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
½ tsp. kosher salt
Flat leaf parsley, chopped
Extra lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 375. Cook the spaghetti to al dente (it will cook a bit more in the oven).
On low heat melt the butter and olive oil. Add the minced garlic and lemon juice and sauté lightly until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat.Add the Greek yogurt and stir carefully to combine.
Add the lemon zest and stir again, don’t worry if you cant incorporate all of the oil into the yogurt, mine looked like this:
In a large bowl toss the cooked spaghetti noodles with the sauce.
Transfer to an oven safe dish (I used and 8X8). Bake uncovered for 15 minutes (do not over bake or the noodles will dry out). Top with chopped parsley. Serve with lemon slice to squeeze over the top, and grilled chicken if you want to be like me.
A few notes:
This made a TON of pasta, for two I would cut it in ½ and still plan on leftovers.
I used the butter as listed in the original recipe, but i think you could probably just use all olive oil.
Before you bake the pasta it has a lemony creamy sauce, you could easily stop right here and eat it as is.
I made this in a 10 inch skillet, it was a bit difficult to incorporate the yogurt. I will be using a sauce pan next time.
I have big plans for this pasta this summer, here are some possible variations:
-Replace the parsley with basil, and add toasted pine nuts
-Add tomatoes to the above option, either fresh halved grape tomatoes, or roasted tomatoes.
-Add fresh baby spinach into the bowl you toss the sauce and pasta with, so that it wilts slighty and cooks with the pasta. MMmm
So many possibilities!