Monday, January 14, 2008

Cooking Light, Italian Style!

Spinach Fettuccini

This recipe also turned out pretty well overall. Even Kirstie liked it, which really passes the taste test! The preparation was a little cumbersome, as I discovered it would have been much easier having a pair of extra hands in the kitchen. There are times when one person could be doing the "stirring with a whisk" role while the other person is getting the next ingredients ready. If I use this recipe again I will be sure to plan it for a time when I can use the teamwork method.

I used spinach fettuccini noodles, so it made for an extra spinachy dish. It could have used a little more garlic than called for. I ended up adding some garlic salt to the leftovers to help bring out the flavor a little more. I also used fat free half and half and added another splash when reheating the leftovers. I loved the fresh crumbled bacon as this really added to the "homemade" taste. Since I rarely cook bacon at home, this was a real treat. Omit the bacon for a vegetarian-friendly meal. For the cheese I used a preshredded combination of parmesan/romano/asiago. I did not add the parsley.

1 pound uncooked fettuccine
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
10 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
Parsley sprigs (optional)

Cook pasta according to package instructions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add reserved pasta water and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk to combine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add pecorino Romano, stirring until smooth. Add half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Stir in spinach. Combine cheese mixture and pasta in a large bowl, tossing to coat.

Place about 1 cup pasta mixture in each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 2 1/2 tablespoons bacon. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 365(30% from fat); FAT 12.2g (sat 6.3g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 15.9g; CHOLESTEROL 34mg; CALCIUM 188mg; SODIUM 681mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 1.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.6g

Kathy Gordon, Mission Viejo, California; Cooking Light, August 2006

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Wow that looks really good by the picture alone. I like the creative alternative touches you chose to add. When I read through the ingredients I was curious about cream cheese based sauce. How did the cream cheese turn out? Was it lumpy,creamy? Did it impart very much flavor? I don't make a lot of pasta in our house but I think this is a recipe that I will have to print out and try.