Now There Are Thoughts Like These That Keep Me On My Feet

I usually don’t share recipes right after I’ve made them.  I typically have a bunch of recipes I want to try, make them, photograph them (though sadly not as beautifully as the really great food bloggers), and then write about them as I feel like it.

However, I tried a recipe on Saturday that I really wanted to share.  I knew going in that I’d be adapting it quite a bit, but, at the risk of sounding a little arrogant, I took a good idea and made it great.  (See?  No way around that … I sound like a douche.)

I was really proud of this one, though, because I made homemade alfredo sauce for the first time.  This is probably actually kind of shocking if you’ve read any of my previous Tasty Tuesday posts.  I mean, I’ve mentioned numerous times on this blog how much I love pasta.  If you haven’t read any of those posts, here’s the basic idea: I love pasta so much because it’s incredibly versatile.  And because you can do so much with it, I could quite literally eat it every day for at least a month or two and never get sick of it.  I love it that much.

I’ve made some other types of homemade (or, in some cases, semi-homemade) sauces, but I’ve never tried to make an alfredo sauce.  I don’t know why, really.  It never seemed particularly difficult or time consuming.  I guess it’s just always easier to pour it out of a jar?  (No shame in that, I guess.  Well … Maybe a little.)

I found this recipe while looking for creative ways to use up 4 oz. of leftover cream cheese.  I’ll admit that the idea of putting cream cheese in alfredo sauce seemed a little … Gross.  I’m not one of those people who loves cream cheese in everything, and to me, alfredo sauce should basically be butter and cheese (and possibly some heavy cream and garlic).  Sure, there are tons of variations, but I would never think of adding cream cheese to the mix.

I’m so glad I didn’t just skip past this recipe, though.  I decided to at least use the basics of the original recipe and make a ton of changes.  And it was amazing.  If I were to do anything differently, I might add just a little less garlic.  But otherwise?  So good.  I will definitely be making this again, and I will also be playing with the basic alfredo sauce recipe in the future to create more interesting variations.

photo

I had to quickly snap this one because I really just wanted to devour the food on my plate.  It smelled so delicious, and tasted even better!  Personal photo.

Zucchini Alfredo Sauce with Fettuccine 

Recipe taken from www.allrecipes.com.

Adapted by me!

Ingredient List:

  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced (I used the food processor for both the zucchini and white onion.  Well, to be more accurate, Eric did.  He loves playing with that thing.)
  • 4 cloves garlic (or the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
  • 2 tbsp low fat margarine or butter (I used low fat margarine.)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 box fettuccine noodles

Instructions:

1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.) Melt the margarine or butter in a medium skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

3.) Add the diced zucchini and onion to the skillet, and sauté with the butter and garlic for approximately 10 minutes, or until some of the moisture has evaporated.  (I found that even after 10 minutes there was still a considerable amount of moisture, so I strained the contents of the skillet in a colander to avoid adding too much water to the sauce.  I highly recommend this step if it looks at all watery to you!)

4.) Pour the heavy whipping cream into a second large skillet, then add the cream cheese.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until cream cheese has melted.

5.) Add the Parmesan cheese to the cream/cream cheese mixture.  Stir until mixed well and melted.

6.) Mix in the strained zucchini, onion, and garlic, stirring until well blended.

7.) Season the sauce with basil, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and garlic salt.

8.) Pour in the white cooking wine.  Stir until mixed well.

9.) Allow the sauce to warm on the lowest heat setting while adding the fettuccine noodles to the pot of boiling water.  Cook according to package directions until al dente.

10.) Pour the sauce over the drained noodles, tossing several times until noodles are completely coated.

11.) Enjoy!  We paired this meal with a simple green salad and wine.  I highly recommend my favorite white wine (Reisling), as it seemed to compliment the flavors in this dish quite well.

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