Bonnie S Benwick
WP-BLOOM – Some recipes designated as “skinny” will swap more-caloric ingredients for ones that are less dear, and from my testing trials, I can say it’s an approach that does not always deserve a starred rating.
Now, omnivores who are intent on health-conscious eating can make peace with trade-offs in lip-smacking satisfaction, but I have yet to master the art.
Better for me to follow the path set by registered dietitian, nutritionist and author Ellie Krieger.
She often blends those caloric components in judicious amounts, emphasising other ingredients that heighten flavour.
That’s precisely what this pantry-friendly recipe is about.
It calls for butter, umami-blessed cheese and creamy dairy, but not so much of each.
A tumble of fresh, finely chopped herbs gives the dish its essence even as it lightens the overall effect. Sauteed garlic and the starchy cohort of pasta cooking water complete just enough of a sauce to coat a slightly thicker noodle like fettuccine.
All the good stuff, for under 500 calories per serving.
Creamy fettuccine with garlic and herbs
Sometimes, you just want to tuck into a simple bowl of pasta. This one clocks in at under 500 calories per portion. I’m partial to an herb combo of chives, dill and parsley here.
Serve with a side of sliced ripe tomatoes, or grilled mushrooms and peppers.
NOTE: If garlic is not your friend, you can use two tablespoons finely chopped shallot instead.
Six ounces fettuccine (may substitute spinach fettuccine)
One (one-ounce) block Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Leaves from six stems parsley (flat-leaf or curly)
About 12 basil leaves (may substitute 12 short stems chives)
Leaves from two stems thyme (may substitute fronds from two large stems dill)
One tablespoon unsalted butter
One large or two medium cloves garlic
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional; may substitute small pinch freshly grated nutmeg)
Freshly ground black pepper
1) Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
2) Add a few generous pinches of salt, then the pasta; cook according to the package directions (about eight minutes), until al dente.
3) Meanwhile, grate the cheese.
4) Finely chop the parsley, basil and thyme; gathering them together is okay.
4) Melt the butter in a deep skillet or saute pan over medium heat.
5) Mince the garlic and add it to the pan.
6) Cook, stirring, until fragrant and just softened, one to two minutes.
7) Add the half-and-half and the cardamom, if using.
8) Reduce the heat to medium-low; gradually add half the grated cheese, stirring until it has melted.
9) Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of its cooking water.
10) Add the pasta and chopped herbs to the pan; toss long enough to coat the fettuccine and distribute the herbs evenly.
11) Return the pan to the stove and cook over medium-low heat, for about one minute.
12) Add enough of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce, or to create more of it, and cook until creamy and warmed through, about 30 seconds or so.
13) Season generously with pepper, top with the remaining cheese and serve.
Calories: 470; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 40mg; Sodium: 360mg; Carbohydrates: 64g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 17g.