Here is a great dish if you’re trying to become a little more nutrition conscious. It gives your taste buds the taste of Alfredo sauce that you crave, but cuts out a ton of the fat. Please note that this sauce is not thick like Alfredo, so if you’re looking for something that is stick to your ribs, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to a favorite, this might fit the bill.
Here’s the basic recipe, however I tend to modify it a lot of different ways…
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese (I’ve used cottage cheese too)
- 3/4 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced (or 1/2 tbsp dried)
Put all of the ingredients, except the parsley and basil (if using fresh), into a food processor; process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan.
Stir in the parsley and basil.
Stir the mixture over low heat, just until warm (Do not let the sauce come to a boil).
Toss the sauce with hot, freshly cooked pasta in a large pot over low heat.
Adjust the seasonings to taste.
If made as written, this dish has 57 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2.6 grams of saturated fat, 190 mg of sodium and 12.4 mg of cholesterol. Not bad at all!
I usually add additional items to the sauce like fresh spinach, leftover chicken, mushrooms, etc. Last night, I decided to add fresh spinach and then a few spoonfuls of deli fresh salsa on top. Thanks to my daughter for that idea! It was so good that my husband asked to take the leftovers to work for his lunch. The salsa added a great level of freshness and boosts the nutritional level with very little calories.
A note: If you decide to use cottage cheese, your sauce will be more watery and the cheese will separate, leaving little “clumps” of curd. We like that. You may not. Also, if you decide to use any additional ingredients, or alter the ingredients, the nutritional value will change. Freshly grated parmesan cheese is best, but if you don’t have any…use the stuff in the green can.
Hope this helps someone on their path to a healthier lifestyle. It sure has helped us!