Pasta Alfredo

Creamy Alfredo sauce served over tender pasta.

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Pasta (insert your favorite pasta here!) Alfredo… Fettuccine Alfredo, etc… Equal to, if not better than what you get at your favorite Italian restaurant and less calories to boot, I’m sold!

The very first time I had Fettuccine Alfredo I was probably 18 and had it at a restaurant in a fancy hotel downtown.  It was so good but it also made me realize I probably just ate more than half the calories I should have for the day in one meal – yikes!  I told myself I’d only eat it once or twice a year since I was pretty lactose intolerant on top of that anyways!  Once I started cooking on my own and for my family, I vowed to make it just as good, with less calories and I would pop a Lactaid pill first 😉

When the kids were little we used to call this “fancy mac & cheese” because I would make it with smaller noodles like bow-tie or macaroni so it was easy for them to eat –  and it was cheap and quick to make when there were 8 mouths to feed – literally could get this to the table in about a half hour and I always had everything on hand to make it. Now that we’re all grown up, I make it a little “fancier” by adding chicken or shrimp and a veggie – usually peas or asparagus, or a side of broccoli.  However you serve it – I’m sure you’ll enjoy and you won’t feel like you just ate a cow afterwards 🙂

Pasta Alfredo 

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. instant garlic
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  1. Cook 1 lb. of your favorite pasta according to directions, drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. Return pasta to pot and set aside.
  3. In a separate sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add instant garlic, cook for 30 seconds and whisk in flour until smooth.
  5. ¼ cup at a time, whisk in milk until each pour thickens and starts to bubble.  Once you have 1 cup in, pour in the remaining milk and continue cooking until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Whisk in parmesan, pepper, garlic powder and chicken bouillon.  With heat on medium, continue to heat sauce until very thick, about 5 minutes, whisking a couple times every minute.
  7. Add the reserved pasta water, increase heat to high and whisk until sauce is smooth about 2 minutes.
  8. Pour sauce over your prepared pasta and toss over medium heat until pasta is coated and sauce thickens a little more, about 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes:

  • It’s important to use the pasta water – so don’t omit it!  The starch in the water and the fat from the butter and cheese emulsifies into the super smooth sauce you want that coats your pasta just right.
  • To save the pasta water, set your colander over a 2 or 4 cup liquid measuring cup while you drain.
  • We like our sauce pretty garlicky, adjust yours accordingly with the garlic powder.
  • I usually use 1% milk in this recipe, but fat-free actually works well too!

Prep Time:  10 minutes     Total Time:  30 minutes     Servings:  8

Estimated Calories per Servings – based on 8 servings – 400.  Based on 1% milk, regular grated Parmesan cheese and 2 oz. pasta per serving.

 

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