Saying Goodbye to Alfredo
Another cooking adventure with Teresa Giudice's Skinny Italian
For as much as the rest of the world loves tomato sauce, I was never a huge fan.
This sentiment usually enrages about two out of three people I mention this to. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good pizza and I’ll never turn down spaghetti or lasagna, but it’s just doesn’t do it for me most of the time. And while Teresa’s sauces from Skinny Italian have opened my mind to a whole new world of tomato based sauces and dishes I am now learning to appreciate, sometimes I just want to settle down with a bowl of pasta not slathered in red.
Thankfully for me, Giudice’s got that covered to, and as I set up for my next Skinny Italian meal, I found myself bookmarking a new kind of topping for my fusili.
Giudice’s recipe for Skinny Pasta Al Burro is right up my alley for a number of reasons. It’s a light sauce that features cheese, but you definitely couldn’t classify it as a cream sauce. She emphasizes the need for high end ingredients here, so I had an excuse to go to a cheese store up the way and but a half pound of Ramigiano-Reggiano I could have never convinced myself to buy otherwise. And the taste of this number blows the Americanized, heavy Alfredo sauce right out of the water. Also, it’s one of the only recipes I’ve tackled so far that doesn’t call for garlic and, as much as I love my garlic, I like a break every once in a while.
While this is the grown-up version of my childhood favorite – the unhealthy, artery-clogging Alfredo sauce – I still decided to bust out some rainbow fusili while I heated my butter and olive oil in my pan on the next burner. Add some salt, pepper and parsley, and you’re set. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of your pasta, and you’ve got a meal that won’t leave you dragging yourself from the table afterward. It has just enough flavors to season your pasta without serving as an overbearing cheese sauce. We threw in a batch of Giudice's Gorgeous Garlic Shrimp (see, I can't say give it up) for good measure, and it totally made the meal.
We augmented dinner with some baked scallops (garlic, Panko, parsley and a few other goodies), which was not from the cookbook but really filled out the idea of our Italian feast. Though there a number of good looking fish recipes I can't wait to try out in the cookbook, I am a little sad I still have to hop on the Internet to find a good recipe for scallops.
And then came a tasty, healthy dessert. Giudice’s Fresh Fruit With Beautiful Balsamic Glaze added a burst of freshness to our night. Though I was skeptical about mixing vinegar and brown sugar, the end was result was totally worth it. Poured on top of some sliced strawberries and segmented oranges, this was a zesty treat that didn’t weigh us down.
This whole meal was a huge success. I’ve learned my lesson about substituting for less-than-recommended ingredients, and I could really taste the payoff.