Friday, May 18, 2012

Skinny Alfredo

We're pretty sure that everyone loves a good alfredo.  But we're also relatively certain that nobody likes what sticks of butter, cups of cream, and a half pound of cheese do for their figure.  Don't get us wrong, we're all about indulging from time to time, (have you seen how many desserts we've posted in the last few months!?!) but with Memorial Day Weekend (aka the start of bathing suit season) just around the corner, we're trying to make our meals a little more guilt-free.  This recipe is by no means fat free, but we've tried to skinny it down as best we could, while still maintaining the creaminess and flavor that define a good alfredo.  Give our Skinny Alfredo a try for an indulgent dinner that won't leave you feeling like you need to go running for the gym.  What's even better is this whole meal can be whipped up in under half an hour!

-1 lb pasta
-3 cups broccoli floretes
-4 Tbs butter
-3 Tbs flour
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 pint whole milk
-1 1/2 cups shredded parmesean cheese
-salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled portobella, chicken, or shrimp for topping.

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta for about 8 minutes, or until al dente.  Halfway through the cooking processes, add the broccoli to the boiling water and allow it to cook with the pasta.  When both are done, drain and set aside.

While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, begin work on the skinny alfredo sauce.  In a small saucepan, heat the pint of milk over low heat until it is very hot, but not quite simmering.  Meanwhile, in a second saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and allow to cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally.  Once the garlic is fragrant, add all 3 Tbs of flour and quickly whisk the mixture to form a roux.  Using the flour will help thicken the sauce since we're using milk instead of cream.  Continue to whisk the roux for 2 minutes.  The taste of the flour will cook out and it will smell strongly of butter and garlic (yum!).  Now add all of the hot milk to the roux and begin whisking vigorously so everything combines nicely.  Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken.   It took us about 7 minutes to reach the desired consistency.  Continuing to cook over medium heat, slowly add the shredded cheese (about a half cup at a time) and whisk away until it is evenly melted and incorporated into the sauce.  Once the alfredo sauce is smooth and thick, season it to taste with salt and pepper.  We used kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to give it an extra kick.  Just be careful with the salt, as parmesan cheese can be pretty salty on it's own!

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, broccoli, and sauce and gently toss until the pasta is evenly coated.  Serve on it's own or with grilled portobella, chicken or shrimp!

This makes six servings that ring in at just about 500 calories a pop.  Guilty pleasure foods don't have to feel so guilty after all!

Tall and Small

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