Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo with Cherry Tomatoes
Alfredo sauce is creamy and delicious, but we know it’s not the healthiest choice. So we created a recipe for an Alfredo sauce that tastes rich but is low in saturated fat and high in protein and calcium. The cherry tomatoes give it a touch of sweet juiciness. Scramble recipe tester Nikki Wolf said, “Alfredo sauce is normally so high in fat and calories due to the butter and heavy cream - this was just as delicious, maybe even more so, and I felt much better about serving it to my family.”
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 16 oz. whole wheat fettuccine (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced, about 2 tsp.
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (or use any variety)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 oz. cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced, or use fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, cover the cashews with about 1/3 cup of water and heat it in the microwave for 30 – 60 seconds until the water is hot. Set it aside.
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions until it is al dente.
- When the pasta goes in the water, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, and when it is melted, add the garlic. Sauté it for 30 - 60 seconds until it is fragrant, and remove it from the heat.
- Scoop out 1/2 cup of the boiling water before draining the pasta and set it aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the butter and garlic, the ricotta and Parmesan cheese, the salt, cashews and their soaking water, and 1/4 cup of the water reserved from the boiling pasta, and blend until smooth (if it is too thick, add the additional reserved water).
- Return the drained pasta to the pot (or transfer it to a large metal bowl), letting some water cling to the noodles, toss it with the Alfredo sauce, and stir in the tomatoes and basil. Serve it immediately, seasoning it with black pepper, to taste, at the table. (It will thicken if you don't serve it immediately.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the pasta and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking (remember to set aside ½ cup of the pasta water), peel the garlic, grate the Parmesan cheese if necessary and refrigerate, halve or quarter the tomatoes. Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve the dish with freshly ground pepper or sprinkled with crushed red pepper flakes at the table. Tip: Cashews, which are rich in iron, phosphorus, and zinc, are a great source of protein. While tasty nuts have a high-fat content, the great majority of this fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, similar to the fats found in olive oil. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 436, Total Fat: 15g, 22%; Saturated Fat: 7g, 32%; Cholesterol: 30mg, 10%; Sodium: 304mg, 12.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 64g, 21%; Dietary Fiber: 7g, 28.5%; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 20g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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