Fettuccine Alfredo, yes please! Delish! Give it to me now! Can you tell I’m still working through my cravings here? Traditional fettuccine Alfredo works its magic through a nice cream based mother sauce, Bechamel. Bechamel is a basic cream sauce that is the foundation for many different white sauces. It is traditionally created with a white roux (flour and clarified butter, most often), seasoned with herbs and spices, has a dairy base, and then you strain the sauce once it is thickened, according to The Professional Chef. To make it an Alfredo sauce, we take that delicious sounding Bechamel and then add to it mouthwatering cheese, in large quantities, some would say.
But did you know that Alfredo sauce originated from just butter and cheese on noodles in the 1920’s in Rome? It was nothing more than what I ate growing up as a child non-stop. Then when I began to get my adult taste buds and a more refined palate, I added a little salt and pepper. So fancy, I know. I knew I was headed to culinary school at that point for sure. Apparently the cream and roux was added later to it in America. To read more about the origins and development, check out, Who is Alfredo Sauce, and why do Americans keep asking about him?
Well, traditional or not, that certainly does not fit into our philosophy here, so I was remembering that I had heard of this wonderful invention before – Avocado Alfredo – and thought to myself, let’s take a whirl at creating an Avo-mel (get it, Avocado Bechamel) sauce. I started off thinking of a traditional Bechamel recipe and did away with the roux right away. The thickening agent, roux, would not be necessary because of the avocado. I pureed most of the ingredients together in my food processor to create the sauce then set it on the stovetop to warm, it worked well – I think you will really enjoy it. Once I added the cheese to it, in lesser quantities than a traditional recipe, the Alfredo was ready for pasta. I had to hold myself back and remember this was made to serve four.
A couple of things to note. If you can have the milk and cheese at or about at room temperature that would be helpful. It is not necessary, but it is always helpful to get things moving along when you are working with a recipe that requires you to heat things up.
When you are pureeing the ingredients for your Avo-mel sauce, you want to make sure they are well integrated and completely free of any lumps. This is your chance to create a really creamy, smooth sauce. You may have to scrape down the sides of the food processor a time or two to get this right.
Another tip is that you do not want to boil the sauce, you just want to heat it through. The slow heat still releases the herbs and spices, yet doesn’t burn the sauce and leave you with a messy pot to clean up afterwards – because who wants that?
As for the cheeses, if you only have one cheese on hand, that’s fine. While this sauce does benefit from a blend of cheeses, having one cheese only will not harm the end product. It will be as ooey gooey and delicious still. I have made it both ways myself and never been disappointed. I noted this in the recipe as well in case you print it off for future reference.
This recipe includes a super food, avocado. To read more about avocados and their nutrition, check out California Avocado. It also incorporates whole wheat pasta in an appropriate portion size. It is so easy to go overboard when eating pasta isn’t it? I was pretty diligent with the portion size here, but I’ll be honest, I did not weigh it, I just eyeballed it. Samantha is more exactly and always uses a digital scale, but choose the method that works best for you.
What surprised me most about this recipe was how well it reheated. It reheated in the microwave, gently, very well. I was skeptical at first, but I just did it for about a minute per serving on 90% power (of course time and power will vary) and it came out tasting just fine. I did bring it to room temperature first – which I often try to do for leftovers. That is a little trick I find is helpful for most foods. In this batch we saved half for dinner (I made this for lunch so I could photograph it in the sunlight, my food rarely sees the night!) and yes, I did eat it twice in a day! For dinner, I added a side salad with some protein to round out the meal.
I kept it vegetarian here, which you can continue to do with the following suggestions or you can explore some more options. You could add to it a variety of proteins or vegetables: shrimp, chicken, tofu, broccoli, mushrooms – really, anything your heart desires would be delicious with it.
Avo-mel would take to practically anything, including some additional spices – so once again, you have the freedom to get creative. This recipe is really the base for you to explore. Looking forward to highlighting it in the future myself.
Can you tell I am never disappointed in this recipe? I’m a big fan of Avocado Alfredo, it is a satisfying dish for me. I am not sure I’ll ever go back to traditional Fettuccine Alfredo again given that I figured out the calories in it – I’ll spare you the details. Enjoy, my friends, and let us know what you think in the comments!Print
This versatile Avocado variation of a Bechamel sauce brings Alfredo into a healthier version for those looking to eat up with less guilt. Enjoy this super food in an inventive way, with this creamy and delicious recipe!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Pasta, Sauces
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Fusion, Italian
- 1 avocado, ripe, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened unflavored plant based milk
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces whole wheat fettuccine or linguini
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup romano cheese, grated
- Parsley to serve (optional)
- In a food processor, process the avocado, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until smooth. Scrape sides with a rubber spatula if necessary.
- Add to a small saucepan with the bay leaf, and place on medium-low to low heat.
- Boil salted water. Cook pasta according to package.
- Stir sauce occasionally. Let it get hot but do not let boil.
- When pasta is cooked, strain; remove bay leaf from the sauce, add cheese to sauce stir in, and immediately remove from heat.
- Toss the sauce with pasta and serve.
- Sprinkle with more grated cheeses (optional) and parsley (optional).
- You can use one cheese if that’s all you have.
Keywords: avocado, whole wheat, Parmesan, Romano, easy, food processor