Light fettucine Alfredo tastes just as tasty as the authentic version, with less fat and calories!
I really struggled this weekend for something to cook. I wasn’t feeling inspired and I know why. This is the time of year when I feel like I’m in limbo.
I’m back at work, so mentally I’m in Fall mode, but the thermometer still says Summer. My internal clock is ready for sweaters and stews, my body is still dealing with temperatures in the 90’s. I guess I sort of feel in limbo in other ways as well. I’m love cooking and eating healthy food because that’s what feels best for me. Sometimes I’m a vegetarian, sometimes I’m gluten-free, but gee whiz, sometimes I just feel like eating a bowl of pasta.
We were talking food, (what else?) at a Labor Day party this weekend and my friend, Rebecca, told me that her kids’ favorite meal is Fettuccine Alfredo from Trader Joe’s. But when she turned over the package and found out there were over 1,400 calories in the package, she had second thoughts about serving it again.
“I almost wish they wouldn’t tell us how many calories there are in the meals in restaurants and on packages“, she laughed, “I don’t think I want to know.”
I can see her point, but I do want to know what is in my food and how many calories there per serving. It helps me make sensible choices. I’ve had this recipe for a lower calorie version of Fettuccine Alfredo for a while and I told Rebecca I’d post it this week. She has 3 children under 11, works full time, and needs to have recipes she can make quickly when she gets home at 6.
This light fettucine Alfredo is easy enough for her 10 year old daughter, Reagan to make!
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1 cup low-fat 2% milk
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 12 ounces fresh fettuccine I used 1/2 lb. dried
- freshly ground pepper
Make the sauce. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Ad the garlic and lemon zest and cook until garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese or Neufchatel and Parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Ad the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to the pot.
Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Serve with fresh pepper and additional grated parmesan cheese.
Serves 4. Calories per serving: 490, Fat 15 g (8 saturated) Carbohydrates 66g Protein 20 g.
Serve this light fettucine Alfredo with a healthy caprese salad and you’ll have a delicious, healthier Italian dinner!