I thought we were done with this weather nonsense, I really did. The winter coats were officially put away in the basement. Do you know how depressing it is to have to go back down there and drudge them up again?
Come on Chicago! Make up your mind. It is very confusing to be in flip flops one day and your winter parka the next. Park play dates to back to being stuck in the house with baseball cancelled, again, because it’s basically like December outside.
Obviously, I was having a bitter weather moment. And I have only myself to blame. Historically, things aren’t too lovely in April, or even May. Do you recall last Mother’s Day? It was 45 and raining. I need to remember this.
Anyway, I decided to embrace the chilly evening on a good note. Pasta is always a good thing, isn’t it? M could eat pasta every night. I could eat pasta every night but then again, there’s this…..so, I rarely do.
It’s a serious treat. Especially when it’s laced with a homemade (lightened up!) alfredo sauce. Oooooooh how lovely. We tossed it all together with fresh peas and topped with grilled chicken and, of course, more Parmesan.
Glass of pinot on the side and suddenly, for just that little moment, it felt nice to have such delicious things to warm us up.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 12 ounces fresh fettuccine
- 1 cup fresh peas
- Grilled chicken, optional
- Freshly ground pepper
- Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes or so. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the freshly chopped parsley.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and then drain the pasta and return to the pot.
- Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Stir in peas. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan, grilled chicken, and pepper.