• Lightened Fettuccine Alfredo

    by  • February 6, 2013 • Food & Recipes • 4 Comments

    Living in New York City is an adjustment. I wake up earlier, I go to sleep later – but that’s not quite enough to fully explain the exhaustion I feel at the end of every day.

    It’s like the city has some kind of super-powered vacuum sucking away all of the day’s hours while I turn my back. Then before I know it, I’m lying on my hardwood floor covered in banana bread batter, asking myself if this is an appropriate time and place to take a quick nap.

    Lightened Fettuccine Alfredo

    People tell me that my body just needs some time to adjust to New York. There’s no such thing as an “always on” mode in Austin, Texas – and until I can figure out the best way to balance everything, I’ve got to learn to take care of myself.

    Or so says the Jewish grandmother in me.

    Except that I’m not Jewish.

    Or a grandmother.

    Unless, of course, my dogs have some illegitimate, yet totally adorable fuzzballs running around that they’d like to tell me about.

    Lightened Fettuccine Alfredo

    Nevertheless, I listened to the voice of the awesome Jewish grandma that I wish I was and/or had, and Sunday, I made this pasta. It’s lightened and wonderful, and exactly the kind of thing I want when I come home from work, have to walk the dogs, and have no time to walk 20 minutes to the grocery store, then back.

    This dish is awesome. And by awesome, I mean cheap, easy to heat, keeps well, and does not make you feel like rolling yourself to the gym later. Which pretty much sums up all the important qualities I am looking for in a meal these days.

    Lightened Fettuccine Alfredo

    The best part is that you can adjust the dish to suit your mood. The sauce works perfectly with half the amount of pasta for a more decadent, yet still very much lightened dish. But if you feel like I do lately, and perhaps the heartburn monster has taken up residence in your throat, you can use double the pasta to make the dish both lighter and less expensive per serving.

    Now go make some pasta.

    Lightened Fettuccine Alfredo


    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 1/2 tsp flour
    • 1c 1% milk
    • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
    • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
    • 1/4 c parmesan
    • 1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
    • 8oz-16oz fettuccine or linguine (Depending on just how “light” you want the recipe to be. I used 16 oz because I was in the mood for something very light. On a normal night, I’d probably use 12. On an indulgent night, 8. It’s all up to you!)
    • Salt, fresh ground pepper


    Cook pasta according to directions on package.

    Melt butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat.. Add garlic and lemon zest, and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Whisk in flour, quickly and constantly. Gradually add in milk, whisking all the while. Whisk for 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Add cream, then stir in cream cheese and parmesan until the melt into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta to the pan, and toss to coat. Garnish with basil and serve.

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    I'm a 25-year-old ex-wife who spends most of her time cooking and chasing silly men around.

    4 Responses to Lightened Fettuccine Alfredo

    1. Ashley jo
      February 7, 2013 at 12:15 am

      This recipe sounds amazing. Basil alone on anything makes my thighs twitch, but I’ve never thought to put cream cheese in the pasta. Can’t wait to try it!!

    2. February 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      It looks (and sounds) incredible. The only thing that puts me off is the garlic, because I’m rubbish at preparing it, so I wonder if powdered stuff would be ok. Regarding being “always on” in NY, when I’ve spent time in London I’m always exhausted, it’s the busy pace of life in a central city compared to your own, but you’ll likely get used to it after a while.

    3. Hayley
      February 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      New York City defies exhaustion logic. I lived there for three years and would literally have days where I did nothing but walk to work and STILL, I would be exhausted.

      Best advice? Make a friend with a country house in the suburbs (Hamptons, New England, etc.) Weekend getaways to decompress are the best.

    4. February 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Looks uber tasty!

      Can I ask what kind of camera you use?And if you are using a program to edit your photos? (If so, which program?) Thanks! Enjoy the city! And just remember: Living in the city is like being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t entirely want to be with you. Remember that and you be fine 😉

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