I've been using plain yogurt lately as a substitute for cream in pasta sauces and find it really likable. The tangy flavor makes it more like sour cream than sweet cream, but in a vegetable-based pasta dish that works well.
I made the following recipe without meat or shrimp, but it would be easy to add extra protein -- including some kind of beans or edamame -- if you wanted.
Photos show various steps: stir-frying the vegetables; after the pasta and yogurt are added to the pan; and the finished dish.
Zucchini and Red Pepper Pasta with Creamy Yogurt Sauce
1 16-ounce package pasta shapes, such as penne or farfalle
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cored and cut into 1-inch strips
2 large or 3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in quarters and then into 1 ½ inch strips
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms, preferably shiitake or baby bella
3 T minced garlic
1-2 shallots, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 T minced fresh oregano
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 cups cooked shrimp or chicken (optional)
2 cups plain nonfat or lowfat yogurt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more at the table
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, or a mixture of nuts such as pine nuts, slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and keep warm
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add next five ingredients (pepper through shallots) and stir-fry for 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to tenderize and brown. Add salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium.
- Stir in oregano, lemon juice and shrimp or chicken, if using. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes to heat thoroughly.
- Remove pan from heat and add reserved pasta, stirring well. Stir in yogurt and one cup of cheese.
- Divide into serving dishes or bowls, sprinkle with nuts and pass extra cheese at the table.