We’ve kinda been on a bit of a pasta kick around here lately. Can you say cheap and easy? It’s convenient and oh so versatile. I’ve got a couple great new pasta recipes to share, this being a “10” on the yummy, easy scale.
Who doesn’t love a thick, rich, cheesy alfredo sauce? That being said, you can almost feel your arteries harden, right? The butter, the heavy cream, the cheese. Yup, my cholesterol points went up just writing it.
Well now you can have your alfredo and eat it too! This sauce is amazing. It uses no heavy cream and almost no butter and only half a cup of cheese. You will be amazed at how creamy, rich and flavorful this is. And, let’s not forget it only takes about 20 minutes to pull it all together.
If you are an alfredo fan but have been avoiding it because of the obvious dietary pitfalls, try this. Throw in your favorite protein or your favorite vegetables and make it even better. I used some grilled chicken breast, which the boys loved, but they even requested the addition of some broccoli. Yes, I’m in shock too.
Fettucine is the pasta shape typically used, but I used rigatoni, simply because the boys like it better. I like fettucine better, but that’s neither here nor there. Majority rules. You can use whatever shape pasta your little heart desires.
I got “Four thumbs up” from the boys. I can’t ask for much better than that.
1 pound pasta, cooked al dente (reserve 1/2 c. pasta water)
1 Tbls olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbls all-purpose flour
2 Tbls Butter
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. fat-free half & half
1/2 c. parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
1 Tbls. chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta al dente. Make sure your water is salted. It is your only opportunity to flavor your pasta. Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water before you drain your pasta.
While pasta is cooking, in a large pan on medium heat, saute garlic until fragrant, but not brown.
Using a whisk, mix in flour making a paste and slowly add the chicken broth and half & half, whisking continuously.
Reduce heat to low allowing sauce to thicken. I used a strainer spoon and scooped out a lot of the garlic. This step is totally optional, I just don’t like bits of garlic. After 3-4 minutes add butter, parmesan cheese and pasta water. Continue to whisk another 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and bubbly.
Toss with pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with grilled chicken or other type of cooked protein if desired.
Note: If you want your sauce a little thinner, feel free to top off with another tablespoon of olive oil or butter at the end and mix it in.
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven