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Fettuccine Alfredo – kinda light. But kinda not.

October 18, 2010

Oh goodness, pasta. It’s kind of my downfall, along with chocolate and ohhhh, pretty much every other carbohydrate. Since Kevin pouts when I make tomato based sauces, I have to make the most of other flavors. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… it’s just a little sad that I can’t make spaghetti once a week. Fettuccine Alfredo is one of Kev’s favorites, and today I made a few modifications to my “old faithful” recipe. And it was the best ever. EVER! It also wasn’t exactly the lightest version I have ever made, but it could easily be made lighter by decreasing some of the cheese. But that’s just silly, so don’t skip the cheese. Please. Add that to carbs and chocolate… Anyway, it wasn’t FULL full FULLLL fat. Righto.

I had forgotten to pick up shrimp, and I wasn’t in my most patient mood ever (i.e. didn’t want to defrost a chicken breast), so I decided to make this meatless. Chickpeas it is, my friends! Chickpeas ARE my friend. I could eat them over any meat, any day. Black beans too. As far as I’m concerned, they are interchangeable. I am not sure – are there any “bean” rules I should know?

The other highlight about this is that the sauce took about as much time as it took for the pasta to cook (mind you I had pre-grated cheese and chopped up mushrooms to begin with). And the most important part – it tasted awesome. We both loved it, and I think I can count on one hand how often Kevy and I both absolutely love a meal (on that note, this is the 2nd time in 4 days that this has happened. I am seriously on a roll).   

Well I think that’s about all I have to say about this. Except that you should probably make it for dinner. Like, probably tomorrow.

Fettuccine Alfredo, adapted from Chasing Tomatoes (and her recipe was adapted from the gals of Eat, Shrink and Be Merry)

250 g of spaghetti/fettuccine/linguine (preferably whole wheat unlike what you may see above)
1 can of chickpeas
2 cups of fresh spinach

2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced (really, feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand…snow peas and asparagus would be equally as yummy… roma tomatoes, green onions, peas….)

1 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%) – more or less, depending on how you like the consistency of your sauce.
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 can mushroom soup (or more if you would like)
1/3 cup light cheese (I used a combo of parmesan and mozza)
1/2 tub of light vegetable cream cheese (yummmmm the secret ingredient)
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
fresh parsley, chopped

Cook fettuccine, linguine, or whatever pasta you are using, according to package directions. Begin preparing the sauce as written below. When there are 2 minutes left in the pasta cooking time, add the can of rinsed and drained chickpeas. With a minute left, add the spinach. Drain and put back in pot to keep warm until sauce is ready.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and saute garlic and mushrooms on medium heat. Saute until garlic and shrooms are fragrant.
Add red pepper, and continue to saute. 
Whisk together milk, flour and half can of mushroom soup. Pour into sauce pan, and cook for about 4-5 minutes on high, until sauce begins to thicken and bubble. Add spoonfuls of cream cheese, as desired. I used half a tub. Come on, it was light. Turn heat down to low.
Add cheeses, dried basil and salt and pepper. Cook on low for a few minutes while the sauce continues to thicken. Add more milk to the sauce if it’s too thick. Add fresh parsley, saving some for your individual plate. Taste with your finger because it’s freaking awesome. Die a million deaths into pasta heaven. That didn’t make any sense.

This just made my Monday a little bit better.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. rebecca meier permalink
    October 18, 2010 9:17 pm

    looks so yummy and all ingredients I can probably find here so I shall try and make it very soon. THANKS for sharing!

  2. October 18, 2010 9:50 pm

    Do you know… like REALLY know… how amazing that looks! Thanks for posting this… I’ve bookmarked it 🙂

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

    • October 19, 2010 7:31 am

      all i know is that it TASTES better than it looks 🙂 i’m always a little critical of my photos!!! let me know if you make it, and any modifications you try!

  3. October 19, 2010 8:17 am

    I made a similar – not so light – pasta just last night… but mine was much more simple. This looks really yummmmmmy.
    🙂 and glad you are on a ROLL!

  4. October 19, 2010 8:28 am

    I never thought of putting veggie cream cheese into alfredo! It is brilliant. I have actually never made alfredo, but it’s on my list of to-make dinners…perhaps now this will make it happen! The hubs will be the happiest man alive if I learn how to make this as a healthier version like you have done!

    • October 19, 2010 8:47 am

      oh yes, veggie cream cheese in alfredo sauce is a MUST in our home 🙂 this is a really easy recipe, so it’s a great starting point!

  5. Kym Palichuk permalink
    October 19, 2010 9:20 am

    K – so our family doesn’t like ANY form of cream cheese. I love this recipe for Alfredo Sauce because honestly, just last night we were going to have Fettuccine Alfredo, but at the last minute I realized that I didn’t have enough “pre jared” sauce. I hadn’t tried to make my own sauce before because I always thought that you had to make it with a heavy cream – and that is one thing that I don’t keep on hand on a regular basis. So, if I were to omit the cream cheese, what would you suggest? Add the other half of the can of mushroom soup Or some sour cream and some extra grated cheese? hmmmmm

    • October 19, 2010 9:24 am

      hi kym! i would use the other half of the mushroom soup, and probably 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup light sour cream (the original recipe calls for this – i used the cream cheese instead). extra cheese is always a good idea. one of the reasons i like this recipe is that it DOESN’T call for heavy cream which makes a big caloric difference! check out the original recipe – it’s good too.
      let me know if you try it 🙂

  6. October 19, 2010 11:05 am

    That looks sooooooooo good! I want to eat it right now!

  7. elaine s permalink
    October 19, 2010 11:57 am

    mmm, comfort food and pretty too! this is one of those recipes where you heap a big bowlful of this delicious creamy pasta, wear an extra cozy sweater and watch food tv while eating this.

    • October 20, 2010 2:51 pm

      oooh yes, soooooo true elaine! you just forgot the sweatpants part!

  8. wakesurferwannabe permalink
    October 19, 2010 1:04 pm

    That looks really good! I love my meat (and hate beans) so I’d definitely need to use some shrimp or chicken. But the sauce sounds (and looks) absolutely amazing. I live for carbs too… and I’m starting to accept that! My husband loves alfredo sauce too – I’ll definitely have to make this for him.

    • October 20, 2010 2:51 pm

      it’s definitely just as tasty with chicken or shrimp! 🙂

  9. Jenny permalink
    October 19, 2010 2:15 pm

    I can totally relate to the kibosh on tomato based sauces. I too would love spaghetti once a week. It sounds as if our husbands have quite similar tastes in food: PICKY! I have a Philadelphia Cook book with a recipe for Alfredo…I will have to compare!

  10. October 20, 2010 2:15 pm

    Like the kinda light…kinda not 🙂
    It seems we have similar downfalls.
    Looks delicious and oh, so creamy 🙂
    – Butter

  11. littlemrsmosher permalink
    October 20, 2010 7:45 pm

    thanks for the dinner idea 🙂 much quicker than chicken divan and i had the chickpeas in the cupboard to save the thawing the chicken breasts, etc. i omitted the cream cheese – gasp! but i actually thought i had it in the fridge, guess i forgot about the cream cheese icing the nightbefore…to compensate i used the full can of soup + only one cup of milk in case it didn’t thicken properly. very tastey, everyone liked it here. i didn’t really love the chickpeas in it but dave said they were good 1 of 2 kids ate them, chicken next time or strictly veggies i think.
    thanks mrs foodie!

    • October 21, 2010 9:28 am

      i can totally see how some people wouldn’t love the chickpeas in this. i just love them in pretty much everything, so i forget that it might be weird to some 🙂 chicken is definitely the normal choice for this! i love hearing the modifications, and glad it worked out for you!

  12. October 21, 2010 7:12 am

    This reminds me of my wild rice soup – cream cheese / laughing cow cheese prove for great alternatives in those creamy dishes! And fettuccine alfredo is seriously my FAVORITE. This looks so yummy!

  13. camille permalink
    October 21, 2010 1:15 pm

    MMM. totally gotta try this.

  14. October 24, 2010 6:08 pm

    This looks amazing! I love past but never would think to make it with chickpeas! I can’t wait to make this when I get back to Canada and have regular access to those ingredients! You know… I might just try to get what I can here! Great ideas!


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