Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lower Fat Fettuccine Alfredo

Remember a few years back when some watchdog group dubbed fettuccine alfredo "heart attack on a plate"? That was a sad, sad day. I love alfredo sauce, but calorie- wise it's a killer. So when I saw this video on the Cooking Light site, I was all over it. This version of fettuccine alfredo has half the fat and calories than the typical recipe, which doesn't exactly make it diet food, but is definitely a healthier option than the original.

The sauce was rich and creamy, and was just as good as the original in my opinion. The only drawback is that the sauce gets thick/lumpy quickly, so you should be sure to serve it very hot. Also, you need to constantly stir the sauce or it will quickly get lumpy. Here's the recipe:

1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used skim milk)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons neufchatel cheese (or lowfat cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cracked black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. When you drain the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water; you may need it later.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour.

Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, neufchatel cheese, and salt, stirring constantly with a whisk until cheeses melt. If sauce gets too thick, thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water.

Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

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