Pasta with Yogurt Sauce is also known as Macarona Bil Laban. This simple pantry meal has all the creamy feels of a bechamel but with a tangy Arab twist. There is also a pile of deliciously spiced beef and crunchy almonds on top for some extra deliciousness!
Pasta with Yogurt Sauce
Or should I say Macarona Bil Laban for authenticity? I prefer to call it by its correct name, but Google might have a different opinion and therefore completely ignore this recipe, and I would never want to deprive you of a delicious meal. So for the sake of Google, I'll interchange between the two names.
What is Macarona Bil Laban?
It's Arab is for pasta with yogurt. Eastern Mediterranean Arabs from the Levant and the Middle East love using yogurt in the cuisine, and there are no shortages of yogurt-based recipes.
Macarona Bil Laban is a speedy version of the famous Middle Eastern dish called Shiskbarak. It has all the yummy tangy flavour from the yogurt sauce, chewy texture from the pasta and savoury taste from the spiced minced meat. This recipe is SOOO MUCH easier to make than the Shiskbarak.
There's no need to learn to make tortellini and spend three hours in the kitchen for a meal that will be globbed up in 10 minutes. Not only is this easier and more forgiving, but this is also the rustic kind of meal you can enjoy with your family during the weeknight hustle, with only 30 minutes of cooking time and possibly even less if you make the Hashweh ahead of time.
What You'll Need to Make Pasta with Yogurt Sauce?
There are just 3 main components of this recipe.
- Pasta. Any kind of pasta will work for this recipe. Even a bunch of mixed pasta⏤, you know, the bags of almost finished pasta that get forgotten because they're not enough for a meal. Just be sure that if you're going to mix things up, all the pasta has the same cooking time.
- The Yogurt Sauce. You'll need yogurt, lemon, and garlic. That's it. Some people like to add tahini, but I don't think it's necessary.
- Spiced Meat. A simple spice beef with 7 spice, cinnamon, and pomegranate molasse. It cooks in 20 minutes, and it's a great recipe to make ahead of time.
How Do You Make Pasta and Yogurt Sauce?
- Prepare the hashweh recipe of your choice. You can use the beef hashweh I've included in the recipe or try the lamb or chicken version.
- Boil the pasta until Al dente.
- Whip up the yogurt sauce and pour the sauce on warm pasta.
- Top with cooked meat and nuts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. I love making a big batch of Hashweh and using it for a quick meal through the week; it's great for weekend meal prepping. The yogurt sauce can also be made ahead of time too.
It's best to store the components separately and then assemble them before serving. If you didn't do so, then reheat at a low temperature and add a splash of water.
Hashweh is a perfect topping for hummus, on pizza, on rice. You can mix it with sauteed veggies, throw in a marinara sauce, eat it with pasta, mix it with rice, and stuff some vegetables. There is no shortage of ways you can use this mincemeat recipe.
If you're not used to strong garlic flavour or have young children, you can use roasted garlic or cook the garlic on low heat with a bit of olive oil for a few minutes, then add the oil and garlic to the yogurt. The last option is to add a teaspoon of dried garlic powder for a less pungent taste.
- 1 lb of pasta (any kind)
- 1 medium-sized onion diced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ lb Minced beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- ¼ cup roasted almonds*
- 4 cup full-fat yogurt
- 1 garlic cloves, peeled, mashed into a paste*
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Beef Hashweh. In a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onions until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the beef and garlic cook until brown. Fold in all the spices, salt and pomegranate molasses.
- Cook Pasta. Meanwhile, Fill a 6qt pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water. Then add the pasta. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. (Each pasta type has different cooking times)
- Make yogurt sauce. In a large mixing bowl add all of the yogurt sauce ingredients. Mix well, and set aside.
- Assemble the recipe: Drain pasta, place in a serving bowl. Pour the yogurt sauce over the warm pasta. Stir. Scoop the Hashweh on top of the creamy pasta, then sprinkle with almonds and parsley.
If you're not used to eating Raw Garlic
- Lightly cook the garlic in olive oil then add it to the yogurt
- Swap for roasted garlic
- Or use garlic powder, but not garlic salt!
Cashews, pinenuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts are great alternatives to almonds. You can also mix them up and have a combination of nuts.
Sunflower seed and pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option.
Other Hashweh Recipes
- For the Beef and lamb hashweh recipe, you'll need: Onions allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, garlic and pomegranate molasses.
- For the Chicken Hashweh recipe, you'll need: Turmeric, 7 spice, smoked paprika, bouillon powder, ketchup, onions, garlic, and pomegranate molasses.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 36g