Refreshing pasta

A few days ago, when I wrote about my grandfather, I was touched by the support I received in the form of emails and comments. I called my grandmother actually, and read her a few of the messages bloggers and non-bloggers had left describing their personal relationship between food and family. At the expense of sounding sappy, it made me realize how much I enjoy blogging. I really do. As for my grandmother, she said I ought to cook a nice dinner for everyone. Since we’re all scattered around the world, however, I thought I’d share with you the next best thing, a post on one of my favorite refreshing pasta dishes you can enjoy all summer.

mise en place

This dish takes approximately 11-13 minutes to put together – depending on the time it takes to cook your favorite kind of pasta. For this dish, and most others in fact, I go with farfalle. I like how they look on the plate; butterflies or bow ties, they have a simple elegance to them. Perhaps I can also argue that the perfectly-pinched middle creates deep nooks ideal for the yogurt sauce to settle in, but this dish isn’t that fussy, in fact, any pasta shape will do – and if you want more sauce, go ahead and eat with a spoon, no one’s looking.

garlic paste

For this dish you’ll want to mince, or pretty much smash, the garlic into a smooth paste. If you add salt to the garlic while you’re mincing, the friction will help break down the cell walls of the garlic and also help create a smooth, paste-like consistency.

yogurt sauce with dried mint & garlic

The sauce is the what makes the dish special. Throughout the Middle East, Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean, yogurt is predominantly used for savory dishes. The yogurt has a cooling effect that helps counteract the spicy heat of the raw garlic and also acts as a smooth, creamy sauce for pasta.

Pasta with Mint Yogurt Sauce

approx 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 24 oz plain, whole milk yogurt (3/4 large container)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • salt, to taste
  • extra-virgin olive oil, optional

Putting them all together

  1. Make sauce by mixing together yogurt, garlic and mint. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Bring water to a boil, season with plenty of salt (1-2 tbsp), and cook pasta according to instructions on the box.
  3. Once pasta is done cooking, drain very well and mix with yogurt sauce that has been sitting at room temperature.
  4. Season with salt and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

notes: If you want a thicker sauce, try using a combination of Greek (strained) yogurt and regular yogurt. I prefer mine to be more on the light refreshing side, so I only use regular yogurt.


pasta with refreshing yogurt sauce

16 thoughts on “Refreshing pasta

  1. Looks perfect – not too much preparation (I wouldn’t want to spend 10 minutes more than necessary at the stove, thank you.) and delicious results.

  2. Marhaba Tony,

    Glad to you a new posting for you!!!!
    I hope every one is doing okay, regarding to your grandmother, and thank you my friend.

    This is nice a freshing dish indeed….
    Sahtein ala kalbak

  3. Marhaba Tony
    Glad to see you back posting new recipes…
    I hope every one is doing okay, regards to your grandmother.

    This is a nice refreshing and simple pasta dish.
    Sahtein ala kalbak

  4. I love pasta any which way, but I’m even more of a sucker for pasta with a creamy sauce. I added some Greek yogurt to a sauce I made a few weeks ago, but the mint here sounds really great. The yogurt makes this so much healthier than cream.

  5. Ahlen Tony,

    Glad to see you`re on the roll again..hope you`re feeling better.
    I love Farfalle too,it`s my favorite among the short cut pasta..because no one`s gonna win over spaghetti or better yet fettucini.. 🙂
    Thanx for the tip of adding salt while crushing the garlic..hmmm I didnt know that..I better give it a try!
    Take care

  6. I found your blog via Tastespotting and just wanted to let you know you have a great site! The pasta looks delish and your photography is awesome! Good luck with everything and sorry to hear about your grandfather.

  7. Tony, I miss my grandparents and I wish they were alive now and to share my blog, food and memories with them.

    Call her (grandma), listen to her and cherish her wisdom and grab an extra recipe or two!

    I love farfalle…my maternal grandma always used this shape too!

  8. This looks so beautiful, as are all your other pictures. You make cooking look so elegant, I almost forget about all the washing up that goes on behind the scenes!

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