No-Meat Fridays, Week 2: Skinny Spicy Fettuccine Alfredo

Look at this – I’m actually following up my post from last Friday with another meatless dish to enjoy this Lenten season.

I went with a true meat-free staple – pasta. As I prefer non-red sauces, I decided to go with an alfredo sauce. But, as we all know, alfredo sauce can be very, very fatty. I’ve been very good lately, working out to a Jillian Michaels DVD no less than four times a week (I’m on Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred) and watching my portion sizes, so as much as I love a good alfredo sauce, I wasn’t going to let it undo all the hard work I’ve put in to getting fit. So, I decided to find a way to make the skinniest alfredo sauce I could without sacrificing taste.

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I most definitely succeeded.

Here’s how I did it.

Ingredients (for alfredo sauce):
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove
6 teaspoons white flour
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese with added spices (I used Mama Francesca’s, but you can just add italian seasoning and a lot of red pepper for the taste)
1 tablespoon parsley
salt, to taste

Start by boiling a large pot of water. It will take a while.

Next, heat the butter on low heat and add the chopped clove of garlic. Let it cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is transparent.

Add the flour and stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add the milk and parsley (and any other spices you’re using). Keep stirring for a while, around 5 minutes or so.

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This is the part I always have trouble with, which is getting the mixture to thicken. I find that letting the sauce simmer on low heat, without stirring, for a few minutes works well. Some of the liquid will boil away and when you go back to stir, the sauce will be thicker.

At this point, the sauce is almost done. Add in the cream cheese and Parmesan and stir until it is all melted.

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About 15 minutes before the sauce is ready, drop a box of fettuccine (whole wheat is best) into the boiling water. Add a generous amount of salt and stir occasionally, so the noodles don’t stick. When the fettuccine is cooked, drain the water, saving about 3/4 of a cup. Return the pasta to the pot, add the sauce (it will be thick), and about 1/2 cup of the reserved water. Stir until the sauce is evenly distributed.

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If the pasta is too dry, add more of the water. Otherwise, serve and enjoy.

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