Saturday, January 23, 2010

Healthier Fettucine Alfredo

I love restaurant Fettucine Alfredo. I so rarely order it because it is so bad for me. One restaurant we go to serves it as a side to a chicken dish I like, and I usually get it with the pasta sauce on the side so that I can dip a small amount of sauce onto the pasta and keep it a little lighter. I haven't tried making Fettucine Alfredo at home because we used to eat it when I was younger, and I didn't like the grainy taste that came from the cheese not melting well enough into the cream. Not to mention, the home made version is often not that great for you either! I found a recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook that I thought looked promising, but I wanted to make it more like my childhood memory (we always had peas & ham added in) and I wanted it to be pretty veggie heavy, so I added pancetta, peas and broccoli. This was very tasty, and only had a little bit of grainy taste from the cheese. We will definitely make this again.

Fettucine Alfredo with Pancetta, Peas and Broccoli (adapted from Cooking Light)
1 Tbs Butter
1 1/4 cups Half & Half
3/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese (I used half American Parmesan, half parmigiano reggiano)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 oz diced pancetta
1.5 cups frozen or fresh broccoli
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 lb dried fettucine pasta
Cook Pasta according to directions, adding broccoli and peas in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, melt Butter in medium saucepan. Add pancetta and cook until fat has rendered and meat is just starting to brown. Remove pancetta from pan with slotted spoon, reserve. Pour fat mixture out until only about 1 Tbs remains in the pan. Add half & half, cheese salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted completely into the sauce. Add Pasta/veggie mixture and reserved pancetta. Toss well, serve hot. Makes 4-6 main servings.

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