Farfalle with Yogurt and Zucchini

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve dabbled in Ayurvedic cooking.

I don’t remember exactly what drew me to it. I think I liked the idea of eating according to your mind-body type. There was something medieval about it, like eating to balance bodily humors but without the phlegm!

Ayurveda has three divisions called doshas which correspond to space and air (vata), fire and water (pitta), and water and earth (kapha). A balanced person is someone who has all three doshas in harmony, but most of us tend to have more of one or two, or less of one than another. By eating foods associated with the doshas that you are deficient in, you can work towards regaining balance.

Okay, that might be a ridiculous over-simplification of Ayurveda (and probably inaccurate as such), but that is also as far as I got. The only other things that I remember is that hing is a really smelly thing to have in the kitchen, and that I should eat a lot of yogurt.

This recipe from Food & Wine made me think of that. One might consider using yogurt as a savory sauce to be a little strange, but it is actually quite wonderful. Warm, the sauce is thick and creamy. Cooler, it becomes thicker, but it is still tasty.

I modified the recipe slightly. I also changed the proportions and cooking times from the original to keep the zucchini vividly green. It is also a good way to use all the nice zucchini that has been in the market lately.

This recipe will serve 2.


1/3 pound of dried farfalle

1 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded

1 knob of butter

1 cup of whole-milk Greek yogurt

1/4 cup of grated Pecorino (optional)

Salt and pepper

Grated nutmeg

How to prepare:

1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta.

2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When it has melted completely, turn off the heat and add the yogurt. Stir the yogurt and the butter together until the sauce is nice and smooth. Add the Pecorino if you have it, along with a good grating of nutmeg. Grind some fresh pepper into the sauce, and adjust the seasoning if it needs more salt.

3. Just right before the pasta is al dente, add the grated zucchini to the pot. Cook the zucchini for 30 seconds before draining it very well. The zucchini will hold a lot of water, so make sure you give your colander a few good shakes before returning everything back to the pot. Add the sauce and toss well. Serve immediately.


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