This sauce was born from a near-empty, vast wasteland of a fridge.
Doesn’t that just sound terribly romantic?
Scanning my dinner options, I found: a stick of butter, a crown of broccoli, half of a half gallon of milk, a wedge of Parmesan…and more variations of mustards than I felt comfortable staring at all at once.
And then there was pasta. Ever-dependable pasta.
Within minutes, I had a large pot of salted water rolling to a boil to cook the rotini, and a smaller saucepan alongside it to create a simple alfredo sauce. Melting the butter, I found myself with a spare moment to contemplate the overpopulation of mustards on my fridge door, but then, just, no.
I added the chopped broccoli to the boiling pasta pot just to blanch it in the final two minutes of cooking. Once drained, I tossed the piping hot pasta and broccoli with the creamy alfredo sauce and coarsely grated a bit more Parmesan cheese over the top.
For a meal that came together in no time at all, it was satisfying and delicious. The alfredo itself was mild, with hints of garlic and Parmesan. Despite the fact that I made it lighter than most traditional versions, it was still creamy and buttery enough to taste rich.
What I love about this recipe is its versatility. I’m already dreaming up ideas for new ways to use it. Linguine and shrimp alfredo, anyone?
Better yet: mustard, anyone?
10 Minute Lighter Alfredo Sauce
makes about 2 cups; 4 servings
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1%) milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup finely grated good quality Parmesan cheese
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 full minute, until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to turn golden.
Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and stir once more to incorporate.
Nutrition Information for 1 half-cup serving of sauce (1/4th of entire recipe): Calories 175, Total Fat 13.0 g, Total Carbohydrate 7.2 g, Dietary Fiber 0.2 g, Sugars 2.6 g, Protein 7.6 g