As much as I would like to take credit for this recipe, my dad is really the genius behind this dish (my only real contribution is the spinach and whole wheat pasta). Truth be told, he is the genius behind most of my favorite dishes. He has this amazing ability to recreate healthy versions of complex dishes without ever looking at a recipe – and this pasta is a perfect example of this gift.
A couple years ago dad decided to make fettuccine alfredo for the family. He didn’t bother heading to the computer and looking up a recipe, instead he grabbed a couple of things from the fridge and started throwing them together in a sauce pan. Sure, he was already familiar with the basics behind a cream sauce, but that was about it. It took a couple tries to eventually perfect the recipe, but what he ended up with was a much healthier (and in my opinion, tastier) version of a traditional cheese sauce. The average alfredo recipe calls for multiple sticks of butter and a whole lot of heavy cream. Dad’s recipe, on the other hand, manages to cut back significantly on these ingredients, yet doesn’t seem to lose any flavor in doing so. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me.
As I’ve become more comfortable in the kitchen, I’ve begun taking steps towards working on my own recipe inventing skills. At the present time, these skills leave a lot to be desired, but at least I’ve got a pretty fantastic mentor.
What you need:
- 1 lb whole wheat fettuccine pasta
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pepper, to taste
What you need to do:
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan and whisk in the flour to make a roux.
- Add in the milk and half and half and allow to heat up for a couple minutes.
- Add the cheese, one handful at a time, whisking thoroughly between each addition.
- Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and stir.
- In a separate pan (or the microwave) defrost the frozen chopped spinach and add it to the sauce.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the fettuccine.
- Once the pasta is cooked, combine with the sauce, and serve.