Sunday, July 1, 2012

Antipasto and Lite Alfredo Sauce

My youngest son decided to become Italian this week, and pretty much demanded that I accomodate him by producing one of his Italian Favorites,  Pasta with Alfredo Sauce. I've been tinkering around with Alfredo sauce for years. The original recipe from my handy Authentic Italian Cooking cook book is, quite simply put, just too rich! I've tried blending up concoctions with lowfat milk and non-fat ricotta cheese, lightening up on the butter and lots of other tricks. I think I've finally found one that is both delicious and lower fat.

In addition to the demanded Alfredo, the Italian kid also wanted antipasto, just like you'd get in a restaurant in Little Italy, or Florence or wherever his imagination was taking him that day. Being the kind of mom who likes to please, I produced this:

My version of what comes before the pasta, Antipasto
I wrapped procuitto around little pieces of fresh mozarella and served that with my homemade Rustic Italian Bread (recipe here), pepperoncini, black olives and chopped fresh basil from my herb garden. I drizzled the whole plate with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I probably should have added some kind of salami and another marinated vegetable, but that's what I came up with quickly. Marinated mushrooms would be a good addition.

Here's my favorite take on lightened up Alfredo Sauce. We were so excited to eat this dinner, with the pasta, grilled Italian chicken and a big salad, that I forgot to take a picture. It doesn't really matter in this case, because white pasta on a plate is visually not the most appealing. However, the taste makes up for the appearance so please forgive me for not taking a picture!

"Lite" Alfredo Sauce
1 T. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T. all purpose flour
1 c. 1% low-fat milk
2 oz. lite cream cheese (neufatchel)
1/2 tsp. salt
a little freshly cracked black pepper
1 c. parmesan cheese (recommend Parmigiano Reggiano) divided use
1 T. chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
4 cups hot, cooked pasta, we like linguine, but fettucine is traditional
In a medium sized pot, melt butter with olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and saute' for a few minutes until garlic is softened. Stir in flour so that it is totally incorporated. Add the milk and stir, stir, stir. You may want to get out  your whisk, since you are dissolving the flour and butter into the milk. Turn up the heat a little and let the mixture start to bubble and thicken. Add the lite cream cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in 2/3 of the parmesan. Keep cooking and stirring til the mixture is thick and bubbly. Pour over the hot pasta noodles and toss well to combine. Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan and flat leaf parsley. Serves 4 - 6.
If serving 4, approx. 399 calories, 13 g. fat, 2 g. fiber, 821 mg sodium

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