Cook pasta with Greek yogurt and soft, browned onions

Pasta With Yogurt and Onions
(Photo for The Washington Post by Deb Lindsey)
Story by Bonnie S. Benwick
(The Washington Post)
Wed, Jan 9, 2013
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The Greek islands of Kassos and Karpathos both have versions of this simple, rich dish. Unfortunately, it’s not the most appealing plate you’ll ever set on a weeknight table. But it tastes great.

We used an aged manchego cheese instead of the original recipe’s Greek kefalotyri cheese.

Serve with a salad of chopped greens, olives and almonds, tossed with a dried-oregano vinaigrette.

Pasta With Yogurt and Onions

  • Water
  • 3 large (about 1 1/3 pounds) red onions
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces dried spinach tagliatelle or spinach penne
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup coarsely grated hard, sharp-tasting cheese, such as an aged manchego

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Heat a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough water to come up about 1/4 inch on the sides.

Peel the onions and cut them in half, then into very thin slices, adding them to the pot or skillet as you work. Once they’re all in, stir until they’ve started to pick up a bit of golden color. Sprinkle lightly with salt, then cook the onions for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times, until they are soft and browned. Transfer to a bowl; there should be about 2 1/4 cups.

Add a generous pinch of salt to the pot of water, then add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot (off the heat).

While the pasta and onions are cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat just until it browns; this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Pour into the pasta and stir to coat, then stir in the yogurt. If the mixture seems too thick, add some or all of the reserved pasta cooking water. Cover to keep warm.

Divide the pasta among individual plates. Sprinkle with equal amounts of the grated cheese, then top with equal amounts of the browned onions and their juices. Serve hot. 4 servings.

Per serving: 540 calories, 24 grams protein, 61 grams carbohydrates, 23 grams fat, 14 grams saturated fat, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 230 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber, 13 grams sugar

— Adapted from “The Country Cooking of Greece,” by Diane Kochilas (Chronicle, 2012)

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