Fettuccine Alfredo

My husband almost didn’t believe me when I told him that this Fettuccine Alfredo was low fat.  With no heavy cream, and only 1 tablespoon of butter, you may be wondering how this Alfredo sauce can taste so good?  Well, the secret is 1/3 less-fat cream cheese.  Cream cheese, combined, with a little flour, minced garlic, skim milk, and Parmesan cheese makes for a wonderful, low-fat sauce with only 13.5g of fat and 399 calories versus a whopping 65g of fat and nearly 1,000 calories in traditional Fettuccine Alfredo.
As a little kid, I was the biggest fan of Fettuccine Alfredo and would order it every time I ate at The Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, or Carrabba’s (my favorite Italian food restaurants growing up).  Once I realized how many calories were in Fettuccine Alfredo, which wasn’t until I was a senior in high school, I ceased to order my favorite Italian dish for fear that I would “get fat”!
Just last week, my sister informed me that she made this low-fat Fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Cooking Light for her boyfriend, Colby.  I was shocked because my sister had never ordered Fettuccine Alfredo from a restaurant in her life, and she told me that her recipe happened to be very good!   Well, I had to give it a try, and a few days later my husband and I sat down to an old Italian classic that was “good for us.”  I added grilled chicken to the recipe by sauteing the chicken in a cast iron skillet with olive oil and a little rosemary.  Simple, and a perfect addition of protein to my favorite pasta recipe.
Optional:  grill or saute’ chicken in olive oil and a little rosemary until chicken is done, and no longer pink.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Add garlic; stir for one minute, and then stir in flour.  Next, whisk in the milk, and cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Add Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and salt, and whisk together until cheese melts.

Toss sauce, with hot, cooked pasta.

Serve, topped with extra Parmesan cheese, parsley for garnish, and sliced grilled chicken.

Fettuccine Alfredo
1 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used skim)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 Tbsp 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups hot cooked fetttuccine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cracked black pepper

1.  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.
2.  Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt.
3.  Toss sauce with hot pasta.  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley.  Garnish with black pepper, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  4 servings (serving size:  1 cup)
Cooking Light, January 2007

Calories:  399
Fat:  13.5g
Protein: 21.3g
Carbohydrate 48.9g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 34mg
Iron: 2.1mg
Sodium: 822mg
Calcium: 451 mg

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