Healthy, Hearty Fettuccine Alfredo

If I could only have one food for the rest of my life, it would be pasta. But as much as I love pasta, my body probably wouldn’t be happy with me if it was all I ever consumed. I’ve recently restarted my healthy eating kick (summer always seems to mess with my health streak), but I still craved a tasty pasta dish tonight. I’ve read a lot about “skinny” fettuccine alfredo but was never sure how good something like that could actually taste. (After all, I’m used to making much richer, heartier versions.) I mean, the butter and heavy cream are what make the dish taste good, right?

I went ahead and tested out a homemade recipe—and honestly, for something that’s low in fat and sodium, I was seriously impressed.

I replaced the butter with olive oil, since olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats. This ingredient has gained a horrible reputation of being unhealthy, but actually, it’s heart healthy and nutritionally beneficial in moderation (1 tablespoon is a serving). It made a great butter substitute for this sauce.

I swapped the heavy cream for some skim milk. I know what you’re thinking: Skim milk is terrible. But trust me on this.

Thankfully, Parmesan cheese is a low-fat, low-salt cheese that’s totally fine to use in moderation. At just 1 gram of fat per serving, it’s an ingredient that didn’t need a substitution.

I thickened the sauce with some white flour, but only about 1/2 tablespoon. And of course, I seasoned it with a bit of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

I chose to use white pasta for the dish, since there seems to be evidence that white pasta isn’t any worse for you than whole wheat pasta. However, feel free to use whole wheat—it definitely won’t hurt, since it provides more whole grains than white.

Ingredients: Makes 2 servings
4 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
Salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions. In a small pan, add olive oil and garlic; cook on low for 2-3 minutes. Then, add skim milk and let it heat up for a few minutes. Add flour and whisk to combine into sauce. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk in Parmesan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally to prevent sauce from separating. Season with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Toss pasta in sauce and serve.

Tip: This pasta dish pairs perfectly with a side of of steamed broccoli!

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