Friday, September 2, 2011

Throw Away The Jar (save your arteries AND taste buds)

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I LOVE alfredo. This is definitely recent obsession, as a kid I never really had it and as I got older I started working on perfecting red sauces and I still absolutely love a good marinara. I definitely make marinara more often than not.

However, last year - after being cheered on by my sister Kate - I decided to conquer my fear of creating a bechamel sauce. This paved the way to mastering other cream sauces and eventually I discovered the absolute joy of a good alfredo sauce. Jarred alfredo sauce just can't stand up to that stuff!

The only downside to cream sauce and alfredo sauce is that the fat content is usually pretty high...not to mention the calories! Because of this, I saved creations that incorporated the cream sauces for special occasions and I didn't make them very often. Before I share this recipe, I know you alfredo purists out there might start howling at me that it isn't an authentic alfredo.

Guess what?

I agree.

I also don't care because it tastes fantastic, is more than 300 calories less than an original, not to mention has more than 30 grams of fat cut out of it - call it whatever you want!

The only thing I think I'll do differently next time I make this, is I'll turn it more into a hearty main dish by adding in some grilled chicken and baby spinach or broccoli. My husband's reaction after tasting it last night was, "It's great...let's add chicken!" And I have to say, he's totally right.

Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo (adapted from Food Network Magazine)

- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 2 heaping tsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup lowfat milk (I used skim)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. lowfat or Neufachatel cream cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp. parsley (chopped)
- 12 oz. cooked fettuccine


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the garlic and lemon zest, cooking until the garlic is soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes.

2. Whisk in the milk and a tsp. of kosher salt - cooking until just thickened. Add in the cream cheese and Parmesan, whisking until melted and smooth, before sprinkling in the parsley and a generous grind of fresh black pepper.

3. Add the sauce and about 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water (from your cooked fettuccine) to the hot, cooked fettuccine and toss to coat thoroughly. I served this with whole grain pasta and it was fantastic!

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