Thursday, May 3, 2012

Alfredo Sauce

There is just something really comforting about a cream sauce, isn’t there?  One of the things I’ve said along this journey is that I am not willing to give up yummy food…I’m just not going to do it.  So that means, I am committed to working out…and, I do…ALL the time.  But I’m also committed to creating lower calorie foods that taste great so that even when I can’t work out, I don’t have to worry.  This recipe is definitely one of the rewards for all that working out…AND the great part, is that it is much lower in calories that your typical Alfredo sauce so there is no guilt!  And it’s SO quick so go ahead and add it to your weeknight rotation.

Note:  Best to have all your ingredients ready before you begin!

8 oz  penne pasta (just happened to be what I had on hand; any kind really will do)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I grated my own, but you could even use the powdery kind you probably already have in your fridge, shhh!)
2/3 cup fat free half and half
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese (I wouldn’t use fat free for this one; it doesn’t melt very well)
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
Dried red pepper flakes and grated parmesan, for taste

Cook pasta according to directions without salt or oil.  Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.

Heat oil in a skillet or saucepan over med/high heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant – about 1 minute.

In the same pan, reduce heat to medium.  Add pasta water, parmesan cheese, half & half, cream cheese and black pepper.  Cook about 2 minutes or until cheeses are combined.  Add drained pasta to sauce and mix.  Sprinkle with red pepper and more parmesan, to taste.

Serve with grilled chicken and/or steamed veggies like broccoli or asparagus.

I was so hungry and it smelled so good, I almost forgot to take a picture before I dug in!

Serves 4, 1 cup servings (Note:  the nutrition info below accounts for Penne; if you use a different kind of pasta, you can reduce or increase the amounts)
Calories 392 / Carbs 44g / Fat 14g / Protein 20g / Fiber 4g / Sodium 439mg

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