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Pasta Alfredo recipe - light version

Updated on July 4, 2015
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A lighter Pasta Alfredo recipe - quick, easy & healthy

The first time I made this lovely Italian-inspired dish was at a time when I'd been cooking with heavy ingredients such as olive oil, pastry and lots of cheese.

We both wanted a pasta dish that was creamy and filling, but I wanted to make something lighter than a regular Alfredo. And as always, it needed to be a recipe that was quick and easy.

We both enjoyed this so much and now I cook this dish regularly.I also had to rely on the ingredients I had in the cupboard and in the fridge. I had some mushrooms, a lemon, garlic, pasta and I always have fresh basil growing in a pot. But this recipe was really born when I discovered that I had a can of table cream in the store cupboard.

The traditional dish contains lots of cream, plenty of butter and a good amount of cheese. The canned cream is a sauce almost in itself. Of course, it developed into something that's far from the original classic Italian dish but if you like Pasta Alfredo, you'll love this delicious recipe.

As a bonus, it takes just ten minutes to make and is a one pot meal so doing the dishes is also easy and clean up is fast too. That makes this recipe an all-round winner.

Six simple ingredients

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To serve two

  • 6oz. pasta
  • 8oz. mushrooms
  • Media Crema (table cream) - one third of a cup
  • 1 lemon - zested and juiced
  • Bunch fresh basil - chopped
  • 1 garlic clove - peeled and chopped

Pasta

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COOK

Place a pan on a high heat with plenty of water. When this comes to the boil, add the pasta and reduce the heat slightly but keeping the water on a rolling boil. Every type of pasta has different recommendations for the cooking time - the one I used recommends 8 minutes. I take a minute away from that time so cook it for seven minutes only. This gives you time to prepare the mushrooms

.MUSHROOMS

These need only to be cleaned and sliced. When the pasta has cooked for seven minutes, add the sliced mushrooms to the pan with the pasta. Often I sauté mushrooms but a minute in the boiling water is all they need and this reduces the calorie count. After a minute in the pan, strain the mushrooms and pasta. Now you can prepare the lovely lemon, garlic and basil topping if you haven't done so when the other ingredients were cooking. It only takes seconds to make!

Nestlé Creme de Leite 300ml | Table Cream 10.1 Fl.Oz. (Pack of 04)
Nestlé Creme de Leite 300ml | Table Cream 10.1 Fl.Oz. (Pack of 04)

This is my secret ingredient! It's not always available to buy locally so we buy this online in bulk packs of six or eight cans (it's cheaper that way too). They don't take up much space in the cupboard (I stack them vertically) and I know that I always have some of this ready for when I want to make this dish. It's also great served on desserts too - try it with fresh strawberries.

 

Topping

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SO EASY AND QUICK

Add the remaining ingredients to a bowl; the lemon zest and juice, the chopped basil and garlic, then add some freshly ground pepper. Quickly mix them together then put the bowl to one side.

Creamy!

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REHEAT

Return the mushrooms and pasta to the pan. Add the cream and stir well, but gently. Leave this on a low to medium heat while you get out your serving bowls and silverware. Cook the pasta and mushrooms in the cream until it's well heated through - this should only take a couple of minutes.

To serve

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SERVING

When serving pasta, it's always a good idea to warm the plates or bowls. I do this by running them quicky under hot water then drying them with a cloth. Ladle the pasta into the serving dishes. With a teaspoon, sprinkle the lemon / garlic / basil mixture on top. Serve!

Photography credits

Photographs © me and taken during the making of this delicious dish.

Further reading - Italian vegetarian recipes

I don't know anyone who doesn't like Italian food. And it lends itself to so many meat-free meals. Some of the best specialists in Italian cooking have created beautiful cookbooks with delicious and delightful recipes.

Gourmet pasta to buy online

We love these because they need so little added to make a great meal - it's a shame to hide their delicate flavors with a heavy sauce. Depending on the type I cook, we eat these simply with a little oil, fresh herbs and maybe a touch of Italian cheese. For years we bought these at our local farmers market - until it closed. Now we find that it's more convenience - and less expensive - to buy it online. We've also sent these as gifts - everyone loves Italian food!

Comments

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    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Another Must Try. I was surprised to see no cheese, but love the idea. I've been looking for a lighter sauce like this.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      4 years ago from Havre de Grace

      I can taste it now, looks delicious. So nice to find a tasty recipe that is on the light side!

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 

      4 years ago

      This dish looks absolutely amazing! What a great idea for a lighter sauce, thanks for sharing!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ConvenientCalendar: Thank you for visiting!

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 

      5 years ago

      Another great mouth watering lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Cynthia Haltom: Chaltom, that is so lovely of you. Thank you so much.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      You have some of the most amazing lens, I can't stop reading them I love the way you cook keep it up and I"ll keep reading.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @othellos: Thank you! We love this recipe - so tasty :)

    • profile image

      othellos 

      5 years ago

      Excellense lens. I was looking for a true tasty lighter version of pasta Alfredo. I tried a few of them but the result was poor. Yours came up to a 10+ commented family critique. Thanks for sharing:-)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @myspace9: Enjoy!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @myspace9: Enjoy!

    • winter aconite profile image

      winter aconite 

      5 years ago

      I'm Italian and love pasta! This recipe is new to me and sounds fab. Will be trying it soon!

    • profile image

      myspace9 

      5 years ago

      Good recipe.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: I hope you try it - soooooo good!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I love healthy anything so im in...nice recipe!!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Enjoy! It's very tasty and quick to make.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Nice! I'm going to be trying this one for sure!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Thank you so much, Dave!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      As always, I love your photos!

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