Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Perfect Alfredo Sauce

After a bout of stomach flu by the Big Mama, we are back to our regular scheduled program with a new orginal recipe. 

I remember in college, attempting to make an Alfredo Sauce to serve to my friends.  I cooked for what seemed like hours, my kitchen was designated a desaster area by the then President Bush, (Sr., not W) and I threw it in the trash.  We got Pizza.

It seems like in the years since I've struggled to find the perfect recipe.  Some were too gloppy, some too soupy, some to cheesy and some toally without flavor.  Most were just too rich for my prone-to-acid-reflux tummy, even if they delighted my love-butter-and-cheese pallet. 

Having exahusted the supply of recipes on I struck out on my own to hopefully, keep the wonderful things that I love about traditional alfredo...the sliky texture and parmesean yumminess....with bolder, deeper flavor that can stand up to a flavored or stuffed pasta and cut a calorie or two in the process.

And boy did I hit the ball out of the park!  According to the calorie counter I found on the internet, regular Alfredo sauce is 535 calories per serving.  Coming it at only 150 Calories a serving for an Alfredo sauce that will even keep Whole Wheat pasta from tasting terrible!  And I wasn't skimpy with the servings, either.  Whoo hoo! 

I'm not sure of the cholesterol count with the real butter and real cheese, but that isn't something I track too closely.

I served it with homemade garlic bread, a Ceasar salad over whole wheat chicken and grilled onion Tortilini.  (From the deli section, I did not make them)  Thumbs up were had by all and the picky-icky Little Mouth had seconds!

Perfect Alfredo

5 T Unsalted Butter
2T Flour
1 (or 2) cloves smashed garlic
1 t lemon zest
Fresh cracked black pepper
Pinch fresh nutmeg
1 2/3 cups fat free half and half
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
Reserved pasta water to correct consistency.

Heat fat free half and half in a small sauce pan to a simmer.  Do not boil or a yucky skummy layer will form. 
Melt butter in a high sided saute pan.  Add flour and garlic, lemon zest and nutmeg and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Do not allow to brown.   

Add warmed half and half and when that is just begining to simmer, add parmesan cheese, whisking constantly.  Cheese will thicken sauce, maybe too much.  I like a thinner sauce, so I added about 1 1/2 cups of the starchy pasta water.  Toss in your pasta of choice and serve immediately.  So, so good!

Next time I'll throw in some fresh taragon and maybe some chives.  I can't wait to try this one again~! 

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