“Healthy” pasta alfredo

Apologies for the picture quality...phone cameras really ARE crapcams!

So, Pheasant says to you, “I’m really craving pasta alfredo.” And you look back down at Pheasant and reply, “Pheasant, I love you, but you know we’re trying to be healthier. A glut of cream, cheese and pasta is not going to help that.”

And Pheasant replies, “Why not make it healthier? Why not take my delicious craving for alfredo and make it better?”

“Pheasant,” You reply, smiling, “You just might be on to something.”

That’s exactly what happened today, folks. A few days ago, I asked my lovely girlfriend to make up this week’s suppers list. Little did I know, she’d write down “pasta alfredo” and smile triumphantly (and rather saucily, to be honest) when she’d thought up and written down all seven meals. I’m telling you, I stared down at that list and a small tear formed. “Pasta alfredo, my old friend, how I’ve missed you!” I cried.

And then I remembered exactly why I’ve been missing Alfredo as much as I have: a good bowl of delicious noodles, coated in the buttery, creamy, garlicky Parmesan sauce can set you back 1,378 calories and two days’ worth of saturated fat. In one bowl. To put this into perspective for you who do not track calories, I eat about 1,300 calories a day. That, my dears, is an entire day’s calories in one beautiful, creamy bowl. There may be a day when I desperately need that fat and those calories, and am willing to sit down with a large serving of this glorious food on my lap and wolf it down.

That day is not today.

The girlf wanted pasta alfredo and by George, I would make her alfredo. But, being the cook in the apartment, I set my sights on a holy grail: angel’s hair pasta, tossed in a creamy, garlicky, cheesy white sauce, sitting glistening like a new sun on my plate. I had to have it. I had to make this work.

And thus, the fair maiden set out on a quest; she battled dragons and harpies, forged raging rivers, and even tried to give up heavy cream in her gallant journey to find the tastiest, healthiest, loveliest alfredo known to man or beast. 

Now, I don’t mean to brag, but it seriously took me some hours of searching, grumbling, tweaking and refining to create the recipe you’ll see below. Because I only feed my girlf and I, this recipe feeds two. However, double, triple, or whatever it, and it’ll turn out just fine.

You may want to cut back on the garlic, depending on your personal preferences. We’re both in love with this fantastic taste, though, so we put in a lot. I also like peas in mine (1/2 cup adds 55 calories) and if you want to add chicken, go ahead!

Pheasant’s Pasta Alfredo

4 oz. Angel hair pasta

1 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves

4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated fine

2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream

1/4 c. 2% milk

2 tbsp heavy cream

3 tbsp chopped yellow or white onion

First, fill a medium sauce pot with water, and add about two tablespoons of salt to the water. Set that baby on to boil. Look at the directions on back your pasta package and subtract two minutes off the cook time for al dente. When the water is boiling, add a dash of olive oil on top, throw in your pasta, and get out a cutting board.

If you haven’t already, dice a yellow onion until you have about three tablespoons’ worth. And don’t sit there forever measuring it out…eyeball that. You know you can.

Mince the garlic finely; take your tablespoon of olive oil and drizzle it into a saucepan. When it’s nice and shimmery, add the garlic and onions, cooking until they’re fragrant. Toss in the Parmesan, and allow it to melt. Then, add the sour cream. Stir that around until it’s melted and blended, then add in the milk and cream. It’s best to use a whisk here, because it incorporates everything really nicely.

Watch your noodles. Pull them out and strain them the second the timer goes off, and set them aside.

When the sauce begins looking thicker, and coats a spoon (or fork, or spatula) nicely, take it off the heat. Add in the noodles and toss everything together really well. Let it sit for a moment. Then, dish it up, and slowly undress it with your eyes.

Servings: 2 ~ Calories: 402 ~ Fat: 18g ~ Carbs: 43g ~ Fiber: 4.5g ~ Protein: 16g ~ Sodium: 235mg

Now, I don’t want any messages telling me, “How could you consider this healthy? This has X g/mg of XY and I can’t believe you’d tout that–” Calm down, people. I said, healthier. Notice the quotes in the title? Yes. It’s okay to enjoy this. Breathe in, breathe out. Notice the lovely garlic scent in the air? That’s from your alfredo. Enjoy!

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Filed under Pastas, grains and oatmeal

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