Fage Yogurt – perfect for recipes!

Relating to a recent article in the NY Times – Yogurt Recipes – I would like to discuss my growing obsession with Fage Greek yogurt. I began eating Fage yogurt a couple of years ago, but it was very hard to find in delis around the city. I knew of only a few that had it, but I couldn’t always make special trips just for the yogurt. Thankfully, Fage USA was born, and Americans fell in love. Demand = Supply = more delis carrying Fage!

This yogurt is thick and plain and very different than the Dannon versions of thin and sweet yogurt. Fage can substitute as a cereal sidekick and alternative to mayo or creme fraiche in almost any recipe.

Yogurt is receiving a lot of attention from health-conscious individuals and nutritionists because it has shown to provide many health benefits – protection against intestinal/vaginal infections/bowel cancer and it increased calcium absorption and enhances the immune system. It also contains a prebiotic inulin, which is a nondigestible ingredient that helps the growth of a healthy bacteria in the lower digestive tract. People on antibiotics are advised to eat yogurt to restore the bacteria that the medicine kills. Yogurt provides protein as well – as much as 13 grams in a cup.

To receive any of these health benefits, though, the yogurt must contain live, active cultures. If a yogurt has been pasteurized by the manufacturer or has been heated, the bacteriaare dead. The bacteria should be listed in the ingedients on the container right after milk.

You can find plenty of yogurt recipes here, but this recipe is one good way to incorporate it into PASTA!

Pasta With Smoked Salmon and Yogurt

Ingredients
Salt
1 box gemelli pasta
1 cup Greek yogurt (preferably Fage)
1/2 pound smoked salmon, cut into bite-size pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
2 cups packed arugula
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
Coarsely ground black pepper

Preparation
1. Bring a large pot of salty water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta. While it cooks, combine in a large serving bowl the yogurt, salmon, garlic, lemon zest and juice, arugula and dill. Just before the pasta is finished cooking, scoop out 1/2 cup pasta water and reserve.
2. Drain the pasta and slide it into the bowl. Using two spoons, toss the pasta and sauce as you would a salad. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water. Season to taste with salt and grind a generous amount of pepper on top.

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