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Posted on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 6:50 a.m.

Peggy Lampman's Tuesday dinnerFeed: Reduced-fat fettuccine alfredo

By Peggy Lampman


Peggy Lampman | Contributor

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The crocus and hyacinth are making a splashy showing in the yard with tulips and daffodils nudging themselves through the soil.

The forecast is promising temperatures hovering in the seventies - if I could turn a cartwheel without breaking my neck I would. I'm even encouraged (with my husband, Richard's, pleas) to dust off my running shoes and reignite my New Year's fitness resolutions.

I'm resolving to hit the streets with Richard and embark upon a daily walking and "running" program. (Running is in quotes because no self-respecting runner would call my crawl a run!)

For further inspiration, Richard gave me his April edition of Runner's World which included a recipe for "Rocco's Fettuccine Alfredo." Rocco Dispirito is a reality TV veteran who was a guest chef on "The Biggest Loser." A good healthy carb load for dinner may get me through a run tomorrow morning.

There are few things I relish as much as fresh egg fettuccine tossed with a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce loaded with butter and top-drawer Parmesan. I also, however, relish the prospect of being able to zip up last year's summer clothes.

I have serious doubts that this recipe can come close to my Alfredo fantasies, but I made the recipe exactly to the spirit of DeSpirito's Alfredo. Don't be turned off by the tablespoon of real butter. A typical Alfredo to serve four could easily have a quarter to half a pound of butter in the recipe.

I made a few changes based on ingredient on hand. DeSpirito's recipe calls for 5 percent lowfat yogurt; I used 2 percent. I used the best Reggiano cheese I could find - it is the most important ingredient in the recipe. I also added frozen peas at the last minute for flavor, color and added nutrition. DeSpirito said the recipe serves four, but Richard and I consumed the entire recipe below, no problem.

The recipe is extremely "creamy" and flavorful, different than the full-fat Alfredo's I'm use to eating, but we certainly enjoyed the flavor and healthier attributes. I'm ready for tomorrow's run!

Yield: 2-4 servings
Time: 20 minutes
Cost: Approx. $8

Recipe adapted from Rocco DiSpirito's latest cookbook "Now Eat This!"


8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground preferred
3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup Parmigianno Reggiano
3/4 cup 2 percent Greek (strained) yogurt


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook fettuccine according to package instructions. Place peas in colander and drain pasta over peas to cook.
2. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook two minutes.
3. Combine cornstarch and nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk in chicken stock until smooth. Pour into saute pan, raise the heat, and bring sauce to a simmer, whisking occasionally.
4. Whisk in 1/2 cup of cheese until melted. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in yogurt until smooth.
5. Toss fettuccine with Alfredo sauce. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Top pasta with remaining cheese and serve.

Visit me on dinnerFeed for more more seasonal recipes and local value (recipe search engine on site.) Mini-recipes daily fed to you on my dinnerFeed Twitters.


monique deschaine

Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 1:52 p.m.

I look forward to trying your recipe.People are always asking me for a low-fat alfredo recipe to go with Al Dente Fettuccine and yours will probably be just the one to tell them about.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 1:04 p.m.

Yep, every Thursday. Rain, sun, shine, and snow-we've run in all of it! We have runners of all paces too.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 12:18 p.m.

Always looking for lower fat alfredo recipes. Come out to Running Fit on Jackson Rd. Thursdays 6pm and many self respecting runners will call you a runner and run with you.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 12:07 p.m.

A recent Cooks Illustrated covered chewy vs. fudgy vs. cakey brownies, IIRC. Turns out it has to do with the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat, so they ended up experimenting with different amounts of butter and oil to get what they wanted.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 11:44 a.m.

EyeHeartA2: Parmeggiano Reggiano can be found at most grocery stores around town. I've seen it at Kroger and Meijer, and they definitely have it at Plum, Whole Paycheck, Arbor Farms, Sparrow, etc. Greek (strained) yoghurt is just that: yoghurt that has been strained. It doesn't have much whey in it, so it's much thicker than regular yoghurt. It's popular in Greece and the Levant. Sometimes you'll find it labelled "Labneh". Most grocery stores have it these days; "Fage" is a popular brand. You can also make it yourself from regular yoghurt. Line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth, place it over a container, fill with yoghurt, and stick it in the fridge for 24 hours or so. Your container should be big enough that the liquid won't come up to the base of the strainer. Gather the cheesecloth around the strained yoghurt and squeeze gently to get rid of any excess whey.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 10:20 a.m.

Au contraire, my friend. Runners know that the biggest step in running is from not running at all to running, however slowly, so you certainly have respect coming. However, your links on Twitter never seem to work.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 6:47 a.m.

I'll give this a try, Peggy! I almost never make alfredo because of the high calories but this is a nice alternative and looks really good.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 5:56 a.m.

Well....look at that young man in the photo! I made the bars last night with lemon cake....I had a very small sampling...they were tasty. Is it supposed to be NOT cake like..but more the consistency of fudgy brownies? Or did I do something wrong?