Don’t you just LOVE it when your local Farmers Market vendors start bringing in all those gorgeous spring vegetables? How could it possibly be that asparagus spears and snow peas can be sooooo vividly green?? Ohhh, and they’re soooo crisp and sweet … Gawd, I just want to pop them into my mouth right there on the spot! And the baby carrots?! Irresistible!!!
Now I must admit that I’m really finicky about Alfredo Sauce. I’ve tried ordering meals with it at a different restaurants, but the sauce always seems too thick, and tastes overbearingly rich and heavy. I swear I can feel it heading straight to my hips as soon as I take that first bite. Then the stuff just hangs out in my stomach for ages, which makes me really miserable and grumpy. However, it sure seemed logical that those sweet, crisp spring veggies I bought at the market would be delicious in a light creamy sauce, so I dug around on the internet and came up with a few ideas on how to slim down a typically heavy alfredo sauce. The end result? Absolutely delicious, full of flavor, slightly guilt-free, and no lingering “gut-bomb” feelings! WOOOOT!!!
Skinny Angel Hair Alfredo with Shrimp and Spring Vegetables
(Inspired by Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo from Damn Delicious)
For the Pasta and Alfredo Sauce
- 12 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 2-1/4 cups 2% milk
- 3 Tablespoons Half & Half
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 ounces low-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- the zest of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Warm your oven to 225 degrees. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and completely blended. Add the half & half and garlic, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about another 2 minutes. Stir in the cheeses, parsley and lemon zest and stir to blend. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Pour the cooked pasta into an oven-safe serving bowl, add the alfredo sauce and toss to combine. Cover with foil and place in the warm oven while you’re preparing the shrimp and vegetables.
For the Shrimp and Vegetables
- 2 Tablespoons Canola or Vegetable oil
- 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed and chopped into 2″ pieces
- 1 pound Chinese snow peas
- 4 baby carrots, shredded
- Salt and pepper for taste
- 2 pounds medium Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 4 green onions (green and light green parts only), chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pour the oil into a large skillet or stir fry pan, and heat it over medium-high flame. When the oil is shimmering, add the vegetables and sauté, tossing them frequently for 2-3 minutes to sear on all sides. Season with a little salt and pepper,
Add the shrimp and continue cooking, tossing frequently until they are pink and still slightly translucent. Remove from heat and immediately add to the alfredo pasta sauce. Toss lightly, garnish with the green onions and Parmesan cheese. Buon Appetito Prego!!!!
Cook’s Note: the addition of lemon zest gave this alfredo sauce incredible flavor.