There’s this patient-slash-customer at the hospital that tells “everyone he meets” that our cafeteria is “the best restaurants in town”. His words, verbatim. Promise. This is…incredibly flattering. The man is in the cafe getting lunch most days of the week and it seems I bump into him every time I turn around the hospital campus. Lucky for me, he’s a very warm and enjoyable man. Bonus that he enjoys the healthy (and delicious!) food in our cafeteria.
Is now when I mention that I maned the ice cream sundae station when we were short staffed yesterday? True story. It was a good talking point to have the RD talk about moderation, right? Right.
Ironically, also on the menu, was this reeeeally garlicky Alfredo Pasta Bake. I swear to you, people go NUTS for this dish. We add in onions, carrots, spinach, and enough alfredo and cheese to feed a small army. The nutrition stats on the item are grim…for the very small handful of patrons and employees that actually pause to glance at the nutrition information that gets calculated and posted each day.
It’s tasty, but perhaps…just perhaps, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
I love alfredo and cheese just as much as the next guy, but in the case of this pasta bake, less may be more.
Maybe instead of heavy cream, for example, half and half and low fat milk could be used? Likely so. It worked in this recipe, anyways.
Despite the tease of summer this week, fall is here and consequently, I am enjoying finding ways to sneak pumpkin into my diet in every way possible (I don’t think I’m alone in this – Pumpkin Lasagna remains, to date, one of the more popular posts on my blog. Be kind about the pictures in that post…hard to believe it’s over 3 years old!), and dinner is no exception.
Pumpkin Alfredo is where it’s at. Bonus that this meal is ready in under 20 minutes!
- 6 oz dry whole wheat pasta
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp ground sage
- ½ cup 2% milk
- ½ cup half and half
- ¼ cup (1 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
- Bring 1-2 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a small pot. Add pasta, stir, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep hot.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in the pumpkin and sage and stir for 30-60 seconds. Add the milk and half and half and stir well; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until thickened and slightly reduced. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper, mixing well. Serve pumpkin alfredo over hot pasta.
TGIF! Chili and football are on the weekend agenda! But first, the gym and work.