Can yogurt replace eggs in fresh pasta?
Fresh, shiny, golden egg pasta is one of life’s simple pleasures. A foolproof dish that has stood the test of time and fed generations of Italians and families around the world for hundreds of years – made with nothing but flour, eggs and lots of love.
But can you get shiny, silky pasta like tagliatelle, by replacing the egg with yogurt in your recipe if you run out of eggs? Ask your Italian friends and you will probably respond with a look of disbelief.
In fact, not all Italian pasta is created equal. If you don’t have eggs, your Italian friends will probably recommend making eggless pasta, of which there are several types. Think tiny cavatelli, which you can even use semolina flour for extra flavor, and water.
While in everyday cooking there are vegan egg substitutes that help bakers achieve fluffy cakes and pastries, pasta presents a different challenge.
Flour and water are how you create gluten, the protein network that gives pasta its stretchy texture and bite. Adding yolks, which are about 48% water, 17% protein, and about 33% fat, gives pasta more color, richness, binding, and silkier noodles. If you remove the eggs, you lose the character they give to the pasta, which cannot be replaced by the qualities of yoghurt.
While fresh handmade pasta all contains eggs, most dried and commercially available pasta is made without eggs, including spaghetti and penne.
That said, if you want to exploit the tartness of yogurt with pasta, you can always add yogurt and eggs to your pasta mixture.
Or, you can even try making pasta with a velvety, tangy yogurt sauce.
The good news is that pasta comes in many shapes, sizes and textures, which means there’s plenty of room for experimentation, depending on what you’re making, from lasagna to tortelloni.