There are so many reasons why I love Greek food. I love Mediterranean dishes in general, as they’re known for their use of healthy ingredients, but many dishes just remind me of the sunshine of the islands I’ve visited and the sun I’ve soaked up in places like Sicily, Italy and Corfu, Greece.
There’s something particular about Greek food that I favor. I love the simplicity, for one thing. Most of the dishes aren’t fussy, made with such few (yet very healthy) ingredients overall, and uncomplicated to make. Hello, 30-minute meals and under!
This recipe here for Greek Style Alfredo, is one of my newest favorites. I learned about it while doing some research on the Blue Zones, in particular the diet of the people of Ikaria, known for their longevity. After research many of the recipes, this one in particular resonated with me because it was very similar to one of the very first Turkish pasta dishes I ever tried, too.
This recipe is so simple, but it has taken me some experimentation to get it just the way I think it tastes fantastic and easiest to make, which is just as important to me.
To start with, choose the best noodles. Get handmade fettuccine, or something similar, if possible. If not, any type of thick noodle will do – and once you get a hang of this method, do it with just about any type of pasta that you like.
Next comes making the yogurt sauce. I’m starting with Mountain High Yogurt, for many reasons. For one, it’s a favored brand in my halal kitchen because it doesn’t contain any funny stuff (that’s a real tagline of theirs) and second, it’s a halal-certified product. It also tastes great and cooks well- so that means you don’t just have to have it as a snack, but you can also use it in dishes like this where you might not realize yogurt can be ‘cooked’ or heated.
The second thing regards how you decide to process the garlic. There are two ways you can do it- when I’m finished explaining I’ll tell you which one I prefer the most.
One way is to chop the garlic and lightly saute it in garlic…
…then add the fresh or dried herbs to the garlic and oil. With this method you have to be extremely careful not to burn the garlic or you basically ruin the taste of the entire dish. Of course doing it well enough to taste great isn’t complicated- you just cook it on low heat and very slowly, turning the heat off as soon as the herbs have had about a minute or two to infuse the garlic. This is then added to the yogurt, then mixed into the cooked noodles.
The second method- and the one I prefer the most, is to chop the garlic but keep it raw. Make the mixture of dried or fresh herbs: parsley and oregano, plus black pepper and sea salt. Add this to the yogurt with a drizzle of olive oil.
Set this aside (whether you’ve cooked the garlic or not). Cook the noodles and be prepared to move fast once they’re made. If you get homemade noodles, they do cook fast and you need to remove them as soon as they’re finished otherwise they get too pasty.
One way to prevent any stickiness is to drizzle some oil into the bottom of the bowl or pan you’re going to mix the yogurt with the noodles in. At this stage, move fast from colander to pan to prevent any lost noodles stuck to the pan or colander you’ve used.
Next, add the yogurt mixture directly onto the hot noodles- this helps to ‘cook’ the yogurt.
Many recipes call for the addition of some of the pasta water to the yogurt, but I found that any water made things too watery and I really didn’t like how the dish turned out- so I’m sticking to this way, where the texture was great and so was the taste.
It it scrumptious with the addition of grilled chicken or salmon, but all alone it is a gem on its own. It’s also light enough for a summer dish but equally comforting as a winter dish, serving as a really wonderful substitute for the heavier Italian Alfredo dish which uses Parmesan and heavy cream to make the sauce.
One last addition you could make, but don’t have to- although I really like it- is to add some shaved Romano cheese on top. It is often made from goat’s milk, which gives the dish a unique flavor all it’s own and really puts that Greek Island stamp on it, too, as that is a popular ingredient not just in Ikaria but in many of the Greek islands.
So, what do you think? Will you give this recipe a try and share it with some of your family and friends? Let us know in the comments below.
Be sure to get Mountain High Yogurt to make this dish. Follow them on social media to get recipes ideas and information about their products: Facebook and Instagram, and go to this link to see where you can find Mountain High Yogurt in your area.
This recipe post was sponsored by Mountain Valley Yogurt. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not of the sponsoring company.
Prepare a bowl to make the yogurt mixture. Whisk the yogurt until there are no more clumps. Add the garlic, fresh or dried herbs, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Prepare the noodles by boiling them for the correct amount of time, according to package instructions. Work quickly so that the noodles are still hot when the yogurt is added. Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of a pan or bowl in which you’ll mix the yogurt and noodles.
Add the noodles to the pan or bowl with olive oil, then add the yogurt mixture on top. Mix the yogurt mixture thoroughly until it covers all of the noodles.
Serve immediately- whether alone or with grilled chicken or salmon on top or on the side, just like you might see with the Italian style Alfredo dishes, too!