Alfredo sauce is something that I didn’t enjoy growing up because of the cheese. My sister would always order alfredo pasta when we would go out to eat. She would eat and eat and eat and it never looked like the amount of food would go down. We called it the growing white sauce. I’m sure it was an optical allusion because of the white plate, the white sauce, and the white noodles but by the time she finished eating, it would look like she’d never touched her plate. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was teaching my class how to make fettuccine alfredo per their request, that I gave this dish another try. I actually really liked it. I am way more willing to try a dish that I’ve previous hated if I’m making the dish myself rather than eating out. It is mainly because I trust my own cooking more than anyone else’s. I also like to control the amounts of ingredients in my dish so that it is favorable to my palate when I’m done which is one of the joys of cooking for yourself. I created this recipe with is delicious in its original form but it was full of saturated fat and calories. I usually make this dish with 4 cups of half and half or 4 C of cream and it is rich, creamy, and delicious. The problem is I’ve been making an effort to exercise daily and don’t want to throw away my efforts on an amazing dinner. I was craving the alfredo pasta so I decided to lighten it by substituting half of the half and half with yogurt. I was skeptical until I tasted it and realized I was on to something here. All of the flavor components were present but it was much lighter and had a fraction of the calories. This recipe served 308g of saturated fat and 800 calories. My tasting committee actually liked this dish better than the original. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Serving size: 6
Active time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 12 minutes
16 oz spaghetti
1 onion, diced
12 oz. broccoli florets, cut into bite size pieces
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
8 slices of bacon, diced
16 oz plain whole milk yogurt
2 C. half and half
1 C. Parmesan cheese
3 T. Litehouse garlic (minced dehydrated garlic)
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1. Heat large pan or pot on medium high heat.
2. Dice the bacon, add it to the pan, and cook until the bacon is crispy and brown. When the bacon is cooked, place it in a small bowl and sit it to the side. Reserve the bacon drippings.
3. While the bacon is cooking, cook the spaghetti according to the manufacturer’s directions, drain, and sit to the side.
4. Dice the onion, cut the florets into bite size pieces, and sliced the mushrooms. Place them into a bowl and it to the side until the bacon is done cooking.
5. When the bacon is finished cooking, add the vegetables to the pan with the bacon drippings and saute for 5-8 minutes. The broccoli should still be bright green, slightly tender but still have a firm texture. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
6. When the vegetables are done add the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, minced garlic, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to low.
7. In a medium size bowl add the yogurt, half and half, and whisk to combine.
8. Pour the yogurt mixture over the vegetables and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. After 2-3 minutes add the Parmesan and stir to combine.
9. Pour the sauce over the noodles, add bacon, and use tongs to toss everything together. Allow the mixture to simmer for another 2-3 minutes so the sauce and noddles have a chance to marry and the sauce has a chance to further thicken. Serve hot and enjoy!
Notes and Variations:
- Be sure to keep the heat on low so the yogurt doesn’t separate.
- Any pasta can be used for this recipe.
- Any dairy substitution can be used for the yogurt, the half and half, and the cheese. Daiya products are great for this recipe.
- Any vegetables can be added.
- The bacon can be removed and any oil can be used to saute the vegetables.
- Any protein or protein substitution can be used.
- If you want to make the original recipe substitute the yogurt and use 4 C of half and half or heavy whipping cream.
- More or less cheese can be used.