Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spinach and Black Pepper Alfredo

Your taste buds won't be able to tell this creamy and flavorful Italian meal is healthy!

Italian food was my favorite cuisine in my pre-gluten free days. I cooked it often and it was my go-to cuisine when dining out. Not being able to enjoy Italian food was my biggest fear when I started the gluten free diet a year and a half ago. Luckily, my mom interested me to Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta which has allowed me to continue to indulge in Italian cuisine.

In my pre-gluten free days, Spinach and Black Pepper Alfredo was one of my favorite meals at a local restaurant. I easily recreated a healthier version of this creamy and flavorful meal for a vegetarian meal Friday night. As a starting point, I used my Low Cal Alfredo recipe, which is incredibly flavorful and way healthier than traditional Alfredo sauces. This meal was delicious and As Good As Gluten.

Spinach and Black Pepper Alfredo
·6 oz. gluten free brown rice spaghetti noodles (I use Tinkyada)
·1 TBS butter
·¾ cup milk
·2 TBS Neufâtchel cream cheese
·1 tsp minced garlic
·¼ cup Parmesan cheese
·½ tsp salt
·2-3 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
·5 oz. fresh spinach

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When water reaches a boil, salt the water and add the noodles. Cook until al dente, according to package directions.

In a small saucepan, stir together butter, milk, cream cheese, and garlic over medium heat until bubbly. Add Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until no clumps remain. Taste and adjust to taste.

When pasta noodles are al dente, reserve 1 cup of starchy cooking liquid before draining the noodles. Drain the noodles and return to the pan. Over low heat, add Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of starchy cooking liquid, and spinach to the noodles. Stir until spinach is wilted and sauce is combined well with the noodles. If needed to help the sauce come together with the pasta and spinach, gradually add more starchy cooking liquid. Remove from heat and serve immediately with a few cracks of black pepper on top.

Yield: 2-3 servings

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Craving