Low-Cal Fettucine Alfredo

I love, Love, LOVE fettucine alfredo. I have for years. But I almost never, ever eat it (and especially won’t order it in a restaurant) because it’s just so high in fat. And the low-fat recipes I’d tried over the years just didn’t measure up.

So when I saw a recipe in the Food Network magazine for a low-cal version, I was a bit skeptical. And then my brother and sister-in-law told me they’d tried it already, and that it was really good. I decided to give it a try.

It was delicious…you won’t mistake it for its heavy-cream-cousin, the real thing, but it’s really good and I’ll make it again. I’ve included a couple of very small changes from the original.

1 Tbl butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (original calls for 1 tsp…I think I’d prefer it a little less lemony)
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
Kosher salt
2 Tbl 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping*
3 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces fettuccine (it calls for fresh fettucine, but I used boxed – and I used the Culinaria brand from Schnucks and it was really good – seriously, much better than the other boxed brands)
Freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.

As soon as you start boiling the water, make the sauce: melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and parmesan; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

*If you use grated parmesan from the can, it won’t be as sticky as if you use shredded. However, grated can parm doesn’t melt that well, so it may give the sauce a bit of texture. Really, it’s whatever you prefer or have on hand…I like the parmesan to melt, which means dealing with it sticking, but I don’t care.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kirksonya
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 13:39:42

    I made this the other night and we all LOVED it! Thanks! I’m a huge fan also, but almost never order it either because of all the fat. So excited to have this recipe. I added grilled chicken and mushrooms to ours, too!


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