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Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo Reduced-Fat

By Todd Wilbur


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This is a classic Italian dish, but with cheese and cream and butter in the traditional version, you can get a whopping seventy grams of fat in a single plateful. For this conversion, well replace those fatty ingredients with substitutes such as evaporated skim milk, fat-free milk, Butter Buds, and a great cheese-like substance made from straining yogurt with a coffee filter.

To easily prepare this useful ingredient, well use a technique that I picked up from watching Graham Kerr, the once-galloping gourmet. Graham loves to use this yogurt cheese in many of his low-fat dishes that require a creamy white sauce, traditionally made with fatty foodstuffs. This fat-free substitute is made by straining the whey from the yogurt with a coffee filter. Place a filter into a large strainer or metal steamer basket in a covered saucepan overnight in the refrigerator. As the hours tick by, the whey slowly drips from the yogurt, leaving a thick, creamy substance in the filter. The liquid in the bottom of the pan is chucked out, and you measure the yogurt cheese left in the coffee filter for the recipe.

Using this technique, we can shave something like forty-nine grams of fat off the traditional recipe for fettuccine alfredo presented at the country's largest Italian restaurant chain. This recipe makes two huge dinner-size entrees like they serve at the restaurant, though you might prefer to divide this into four more modest servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–4 cups
Total servings–2
Calories per serving–1035 (Original–1236)
Fat per serving–18g (Original–67g)

Source: Low Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1 cup strained yogurt (see above)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon Butter Buds Sprinkles
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 quarts water
  • 12-ounce box fettucine pasta
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Olive Garden
    • Instructions

      1. Combine the strained yogurt with the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Add the evaporated skim milk. Set aside.

      2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Don’t let the garlic brown.

      3. Add the yogurt mixture to the saucepan and stir. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water and pasta, to the saucepan and continue to heat over medium/low heat. If it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring often.

      4. As the sauce heats. Bring 5 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot or saucepan. Add the pasta to the boiling water and stir. Return water to a boil, and cook uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pasta is mostly tender but slightly tough (al dente). Strain.

      5. Toss the pasta and sauce together in a large bowl and serve.

      Serves 2 large portions (or 4 standard-size entrées).

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