RECIPE: Healthier and Faster Pasta "Alfredo" with Peas

Its 6:00 at night. Your daughter is home from basketball practice and got half her homework done...and its dinnertime. There are still 4 tests to study for and your budget is tight for ordering in...which you wish desperately you could do anyway. Your hubby is out with a client so no help there. You also have had nothing but yogurt all day, and want something comforting and "stick to your ribs-ish."

What to do?

I vaguely remembered when I worked on the Kraft account that there was a quick, lighter, fake version of Alfredo using cream cheese. So I used that thought as a base and added a vegetable and used whole wheat shells to make it heartier and healthier. You could use lower fat cream cheese to make this dish even lighter, but I had normal and it was very yummy. It was prepared very fast and my daughter had seconds. I even snuck seconds, too.

Healthier and Faster Pasta "Alfredo" with Peas


1/2 lb. whole wheat shells
1 tbsp. Butter
4 tsp. Flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 oz. cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish


Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and return back to the pan. set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. With a whisk, whisk the flour into the butter until a smooth paste forms. Cook for one minute, whisking constantly. While whisking, add the broth. Whisk until no flour paste is seen. Add the peas. Heat for 5 minutes, then add the cream cheese. Whisk until cream cheese is smoothly mixed in with the broth. Cook over medium heat until beginning to thicken. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and parsley as well as the grated Parmesan cheese. Continue simmering until the sauce is nice and thick and the peas are tender.

Add the sauce to the pan with the shells, and toss until coated well. Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese, and enjoy the ten minutes of some healthy comfort food before continuing your slog through homework!

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