Monday, January 24, 2011

A Healthier Fettucini Alfredo

My one, huge weakness as a teenager and beyond was the decadence of Fettucini Alfredo. Give me creamy, pasta, some grilled chicken, and I was good to go. Sadly, this is not the best dish for you, especially as you get older and notice pasta on your thighs and belly the day after (not kidding). I rarely have it anymore, as it's not particularly healthful with it's all-out lack of vegetable nourishment.

I received organic artisan pasta by Naples Pasta Company from my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift this year (thanks Bridg! :) and had yet to make it. I chose to cook the Spinach Basil Garlic Fettucini and topped it off with Trader Joe's Alfredo Sauce. I like to add in grated Parmesianno Reggiano and cracked black pepper to the jarred sauce.

Enter my little tip for injecting almost any pasta dish with some much-needed greens: Add in a bag of spinach about 2 minutes before the end of the pasta cooking time. This wilts the spinach nicely and you can just drain it all at once.

The Result: A lovely bowl of pasta with greenness and goodness instead of just starch and cream.  The spinach has a nice bitter bite to accompany the creaminess of the alfredo sauce. This dish perfectly illustrates my approach to cooking. There's no reason to not have comfort staples, just think about what you can do to make it a more complete meal.  I've found that as I try new and different foods, my taste buds need more complexity. 

Spinach Fettucini Alfredo


Artisan Pasta, preferably spinach, basil, or other vegetable base
1 jar prepared alfredo sauce
1 bag pre-washed spinach
Parmegiano Reggiano

Put alfredo sauce in a large sauce pan. Grate a good amount of Parmeggiano Reggiano over and add in S&P. Heat and stir over medium-low heat to combine.

Meanwhile, cook fettucini according to package directions, adding in entire bag of pasta in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Drain all in a colander. 

Combine sauce with noodle/spinach mixture and enjoy!

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