We’re friends right? I mean, I like you, and if you like me then I guess that means we’re friends. So I can tell you about my guilty pleasures. What exactly is a guilty pleasure? It’s something that you know without a shadow of a doubt is bad for you and has no business being in your life, and you still think it’s wonderful. When it comes to TV shows, I am obsessed with the Real Housewives on Bravo. Notice how I didn’t specify a specific city? That’s cause I love all of them. Regardless of how loudly Chase or my friends tell me that these shows are trash TV and are a dredge on society, I still can’t help but be enthralled with the meaningless drama that consumes these women’s lives. Go ahead and judge me, I’m used to it. (Oh, and for anyone that watches, I’m totally on Team Bethanny)
Now, my food equivalent of a guilty pleasure is fettuccine Alfredo. Maybe you’re wondering why Alfredo is a guilty pleasure and not chocolate cake? Here’s the thing about unhealthy foods, you have your items like cookies and cake, that make no pretense of what they are: sugar and fat, plain and simple. Then you have things like fettuccine Alfredo that tries to convince you that it’s dinner, perhaps even part of a well balanced diet. Don’t be fooled though, this entire meal is two things: starch and heavy cream and I LOVE it. All you health nuts can yell at me all you want, you can tell me how fattening it is, how each bite is clogging my arteries, you can give me your estimates on how long it’s going to take me to exercise off this fat, and I will smile at you over my plate of steaming pasta, complete undeterred from eating the whole thing.
However, the other day I decided to try and make my guilty pleasure food just a tad healthier. This recipe uses whole wheat pasta, which pumps up the nutrition factor. It also calls for milk instead of heavy cream, which tones down the fat. So, here’s an Alfredo that you can feel just a little less guilty about. Don’t get me wrong though, calling this a “healthy” dish would be like saying that apple pie is healthy because it has fruit in it. But if it makes you feel better, you can call it whatever you want.
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 ¼ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups (roughly ½ lb) hot cooked whole wheat fettuccine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk until fully blended. Stir constantly and cook 8 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Add in cream cheese and cook for 2 more minutes. Add 1 cup of the parmesan fresh black pepper and stir until cheese melts. Pour the sauce over the fettuccine and top with parsley, remaining cheese and toss well to coat. Enjoy it and don’t worry, you don’t have to tell anyone.