No, this has nothing to do with the salad dressing. To be honest, I don’t even really like that stuff.
When I was a little kid, fettuccine alfredo was my absolute favorite dinner.
My mom, however, was always a very healthy cook so whenever we would go out to an Italian or Pizza place, that was when I ordered my cherished alfredo sauce. Still to this day, there’s really nothing as comforting to me as the creamy buttery sauce, delicately coating a bed of hot noodles.
You know what I don’t like though? Feeling comatose after eating a huge bowl of fettuccine alfredo at an Italian diner. And while I love to wear my sweatpants, I don’t love having to wear my sweatpants (read: elastic waist or bust).
So I created this lightened up version of my favorite meal that fills me up without weighing down. It still has pretty much the same ingredients of a classic cream sauce, but you just use less of them….(read: it’s all about portion size)
Vegan whole grain spinach fettuccine (found in the specialty pastas at Whole Foods), a touch of organic cream and butter, farm fresh peas for protein, dry Jack cheese, and a pinch of lemon juice, sea salt and hot pepper flakes.
Done and done.
This pea would be proud!
I love making this dinner for myself when Adam is working late and it’s just me, my bottle of lime mineral water and three episodes of Private Practice ahead of me.
The sauce is deliciously creamy and rich but not pant-popping material.
Cause as much as I love my old college sweatpants, I think I love my skinny jeans more.
2 oz fresh or dry spinach fettuccine (I used a vegan whole grain fresh kind from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup fresh shelled peas
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 T cream
1/2 T butter
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated dry Jack cheese
Cook pasta in boiling salted water. If using fresh pasta, this will only take about 30 seconds–don’t overcook! Drain and reserve 1/4th cup of pasta water. Set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the shelled peas in another pot filled with boiling water. Simmer peas for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
In the same pot, melt the butter and whisk in the lemon juice. Add the cream, salt, red pepper flakes and cheese and stir over low/medium heat until slightly thickened. Pour over cooked pasta, add peas and a little reserved pasta water if it seems dry. Finish with a grind of black pepper.