When we asked Pam Anderson, our CookSmart columnist, to reveal her favorite indulgence from the recipes in her new cookbook, "The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great," her face lit up. "There are so many that would qualify," she exclaims. "I guess I would have to choose any of the creamy pastas. I always loved creamy pasta and thought that I'd have to keep away from them if I was going to lose weight. Then I developed a lighter way to make them, and now I indulge all the time." And now you can, too. Here is Anderson's take on fettuccine Alfredo:
Creamy Light Fettuccine Alfredo
1 Tb. salt for pasta water
1 pound dried fettuccine or other pasta
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup 2% evaporated milk
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for sprinkling
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Bring 2 quarts water and 1 Tb. salt to a boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using the time given on the package as a guide, cook partially covered, stirring frequently at first to prevent sticking, until just tender.
Meanwhile, microwave broth, milk and garlic in a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl until steamy hot, 3 to 4 minutes; let stand for a couple of minutes.
Place butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over low heat. When butter melts, whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture all at once, whisking constantly until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Pour cream sauce over pasta, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Toss and serve immediately with a light sprinkling of Parmesan.
If you have any leftover pasta, pour it onto a baking sheet to cool quickly, then refrigerate. Save any remaining pasta cooking liquid to toss with pasta when reheating. (Leftover pasta can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days. To reheat, microwave on high or warm over low heat, stirring in enough water or reserved pasta cooking liquid to make the dish creamy again.)
Per serving: 376 calories, 15g protein, 65g carbohydrates, 6g fat (3g saturated), 14mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 716g sodium