Cooking

Valentine’s Dinner

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The week before Valentine’s Day, I came down with a wicked cold.  Horrible headache, coughing, chest congestion, aches, etc.  My office is the worst for passing germs around!!

Jerry is so good to me when I’m sick, letting me go to bed at 7:30 and taking care of Jacob so I can rest.  It took me 4-5 days to knock it out but by the time Valentine’s Day rolled around, I was definitely feeling better.  So I made him one of his favorite dinners…flank steak, roasted veggies and fettuccini alfredo.

It’s no secret that we tend to get fat & happy during the winter months.  Comfort food tastes amazing when it’s freezing and we love to snuggle up on the couch and binge watch lots of good TV.  This winter it’s been House of Cards (so good!), Orange is the New Black (so good!) and Mad Men (so good!).

Now, I’m pretty famous for my fettuccini alfredo because its so freakin’ delicious…but it’s also so freakin’ bad for you.  Butter, parmesan, butter, milk and more butter.  Comfort food at it’s finest.  But as we have to squeeze ourselves into bathing suits in less than 3 weeks (Florida or bust!), I decided to try a lightened up version.  And was quite pleased with the results.

I used this recipe from the food network:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I would not add this again)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Neufchtel or low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have any so I didn’t use it)
12 ounces fresh fettuccine (I used 9 oz)
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and Parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.

Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with Parmesan and pepper.

Per serving: Calories 490; Fat 15 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 734 mg; Carbohydrate 66 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 20 g

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