Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Quick & Easy Cooking" with Bruce Tretter

I love Fettuccine Alfredo but don’t like the excessively full feeling after eating it, which is largely attributed to the heavy cream in the sauce. The recipe here substitutes evaporated milk for heavy cream, which far reduces the fat content and therefore makes the Alfredo sauce less excessively filling. This recipe also uses garlic to add little more flavor and an optional shot of balsamic vinegar for an added rounding out zing. All together, this pasta with lighter Alfredo sauce recipe provides full-on flavor that tastes at least as good as standard Fettuccine Alfredo without the added heaviness.

Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

(for 2-3)

½ Box or 8 Ounces Pasta
12 Ounce Container (unsweetened) Evaporated Milk
1-2 Garlic Cloves
Grated or Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Ground Black Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)


Large Knife
Cutting Board
Can Opener
Large Spoon
Medium Sized Pot

1. Fill a medium sized pot about half full with cold tap water. Put the pot on the stove, and turn on the burner to HIGH heat.

2. While the water warms, pull 1-2 garlic cloves from a fresh garlic bulb. Put 1 garlic clove at a time under the flat side of wide bladed (chef’s) knife, and use the heel of your hand to press down on the top flat side of the knife with enough pressure to break the garlic clove open to make peeling the garlic skin much easier. Peel the garlic skin. Then slice and chop the garlic until it looks about coarsely ground salt.

3. Let the water come to a big bubble, rapid boil to help ensure the pasta cooks properly to desired doneness. Check the pasta package for the recommended cooking time, and set a timer for 2 minutes less than the time the package recommends to allow the pasta to soak up some of the evaporated milk that will be added in step 5. Then, add ½ box or 8 ounces of pasta to the boiling water and stir until all the pasta is submerged in the boiling water. Let the water come back to a full boil. Then turn down the burner heat to MEDIUM to prevent the pot from boiling over, and cook until the timer sounds.

4. In the meantime, put a colander in the sink, and shake and open a can of evaporated milk.

5. When the timer sounds, pour the pasta and hot water into the colander in the sink, and lower the burner heat to LOW MEDIUM. Put the pot back on the stove, pour in the entire can of evaporated milk, and add the chopped garlic. Let the evaporated milk warm for a minute or two. Then add the cooked pasta, stir, and let the pot warm until the evaporated milk just starts to bubble and steam. Turn off the stove heat to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot and add a good pile of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir with a big spoon until the Parmesan cheese and evaporated milk blend together smoothly.

6. Serve, and either have the pasta with lighter Alfredo sauce as is or topped with your choice or combination of ground black pepper and/or balsamic vinegar to taste.

Bruce Tretter is the resident chef for Conversations LIVE Radio show and the co-host of the weekly show The Conversation. Find out more about him and his quick and easy cooking recipes at He can also be found on Twitter at

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