Saturday, April 10, 2010

Frugal Recipe: Alfredo Sauce & Creamy Tomato Pasta

Pin It

Update: All of my recipes have been moved to my new food website:Butter, with a side of Bread. Visit me there to see what's new! 

I went through a phase a few years ago to find the best Alfredo sauce recipe. I tried a few different store bought varieties and didn't care for any, so the quest began and luckily, I found a good one with redeeming qualities. I've made it so many times I've lost count, each time tweaking it a bit here and there. I've made this version a few times now and really enjoy it.

The cream cheese really makes it thick and smooth. I like it too because it doesn’t separate when you reheat it. The original recipe called for more butter and heavy cream, but I really don't care for heavy Alfredo, so those ingredients were the first things I changed. If you do like it heavier, try using half evaporated milk in the recipe. The result will be incredibly creamy, yet lighter in calories than heavy cream.

Alfredo Sauce
Ingredients:

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 1/2 -2 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Half a block of cream cheese {cut into chunks. Low-fat varieties work just as well!}
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese {can use fresh or Kraft}
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
Directions:
Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour. Gradually add milk, whisking to combine as you go. I generally add it about 1/2 cup at a time, whisk, then wait for the milk to heat up and thicken a bit before adding more.

Once all the milk has been added and it's hot {do not boil!} add the cream cheese. Whisk to combine. Heat the sauce back up before adding the Parmesan cheese. Simmer this until all is melted, and mixed well. Add salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste. Serve over noodles, with chicken, in a pizza, or however you like it!

Tips: I normally double this recipe, so that I can use the whole block of cream cheese. I freeze about a cup in small containers, for future dinners. I love this sauce and use it in a variety of ways, however my favorite is in the pasta dish described below. It's so easy and versatile! If it's summer, add zucchini, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. In the winter, I add eggplant, collard greens and frozen bell pepper. Really, I use whatever vegetables I can get inexpensively! I don't actually have a recipe for this, I just toss things in and call it good!

Creamy Tomato Pasta

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • about 4-5 cups cooked pasta
  • {if you're planning on freezing this meal, use a heartier pasta like penne- it reheats better}
  • about 2 cups vegetables, cooked al dente
  • Parmesan cheese, as a topper
Directions:
Combine the above ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and entire dish is heated through.

Serve along side french bread.

Enjoy!

12 comments:

rroehale said...

That looks SO GOOD.

Mariah said...

Sounds really good!! Thanks for sharing! :)

Marie said...

Yum, I will have to try this out.

Debbie said...

To make it even healthier, substitute the butter and whole milk with chicken broth. It's actually really good!

pam said...

Look good and sounds so easy to make, thanks for sharing.

ABC Cakes said...

This is what's for dinner tonight!

Anonymous said...

Jessica -
Have you tried making the recipe with 2%, 1% or skim milk? Wondered how it would turn out.

Anonymous said...

I am trying it tonight. Wondering what veggies you have in the one in the picture?

Ashlee said...

Have you ever used fat free cream cheese or does this not work? TIA

Alice said...

I just made this tonight, with 1% milk. It turned out great.

Thanks for the dinner idea- I had no clue what to make for dinner. Now we have something yummy, and I have six containers in the freezer for future dinners too!

Me said...

I just made this alfredo sauce tonight, and it is wonderful! My whole family loved it. I'm excited to try the creamy tomato recipe tomorrow night with the cup of sauce I saved. I used 1 1/4 cups skim milk with 3/4 cup whole milk, and it was wonderfully thick. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I also put in a package of italian seasoning in the sauce. I use 1% milk and it taste great and not so heavy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...