Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mmmm, creamy pasta

Fettucine (Spaghetti) with Chicken and Mushroom Sauce
The Essential Pasta Cookbook Copyright 1998

13 oz fettucine I used Dreamfields spaghetti
2 large chicken breast fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 oz butter
2 bacon rashers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine
2/3 cup cream I used fat-free half and half
4 spring onions, chopped
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

1. Cook the fettucine in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.
2. Trim the chicken of excess fat and cut into thin strips. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan, add the chicken and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes., or until browned. Add the bacon, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the cream and spring onion and bring to a boil. Blend the flour with the water until smooth, add to the pan and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir over low heat until combined. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

I love creamy pasta dishes but I hate the side of guilt that comes with them. I used fat-free half and half in place of the cream in this dish and I thought it did a fine job. I don't think that fat-free half and half thickens like cream does but since this recipe also included a little bit of flour and water as a thickener, I figured it was safe. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

I planned next week's menu last night. I'm trying to eat mindfully since the holidays are coming up but it's so hard. When it comes to regular meals, I'm okay, but there are so many decadent baked goods calling out to me from the pages of my cookbooks. I just tell them, I'll get to you in a few months. Luckily menu planning night coincides with the Biggest Loser. I find that show to be very inspiring.

Blast From the Past: Linguine Carbonara from February 2006 - one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes. I'll have to look for a lighter version.

Question of the Day: What's your favorite pasta dish? (Have I asked that one already?)


Anonymous said...

If you've asked this question already, let's hope my answers are not different!! :) My favorite would have to be lasagna or fresh ravioli. I rarely make either because they tend to be time-consuming & the yield is rather large for one person. :)

Unknown said...

I don't really like pasta dishes, but I guess my favorite would come from childhood. We call it "Fake Lasagna." It's from "Aunt" Laura, an old woman who was in my dad's Rose Society. It uses egg noodles and (I think) cream cheese, with a meat-tomato sauce mixture on top, all topped with cheese. I think I need to look at the recipe and come up with a lower-fat version because it is SOOOO good!

Annie said...

I don't think there are any I don't like. But I guess my favorite would be pasta primavera.

Btw, I have been wondering what to use my fat-free half & half I know! Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a pasta dish I DON'T like. But I think one of my favorites is just pasta, olive oil and butter, and some fresh veggies sauteed, such as broccoli, onion, yellow squash, mushroon, etc.. Season and sprinkle with Parmesan and viola!


DancesInGarden said...

At this moment, the one in your picture LOL! It actually made my stomach growl, and the dog barked at me.

Jennifer said...

Carbonara....LOVE it...NEVER get to eat it because my husband thinks it's weird. Rarely do I see it on a menu when we go out.

Wanda said...

My favorite is a Pasta Primavera recipe I have. It has pepperoni, snow peas, and lots of other veggies in it, with a cream sauce.

One very simple pasta recipe we have fairly often, that everyone loves is linguini (or spaghetti) with a box of creamed spinach or spinach souffle stirred in while both are hot. To that I add parmesean cheese and that's it!