All of the Alfredo

by in Recipes, January 9th, 2016

Fettuccine Alfredo is a nostalgic comfort food for me. When I was a young child, my absolute favorite meal was macaroni and cheese from the blue box (if my parents tried to pull a fast one and buy the store-brand red box, apparently I knew immediately by taste). Then, at some point in early elementary school, I tried Alfredo in a red-sauce Italian joint and was hooked. It was a sophisticated step up from my beloved mac and cheese, and I would order it whenever possible. A highlight of a family trip to Disney World was a visit to the “original” Alfredo’s restaurant (R.I.P.) in Epcot to eat the signature dish.

This cream-sauced Italian-American pasta dish still hits the spot when winter comfort-food cravings kick in. Here are five Alfredo recipes to try, including Giada De Laurentiis’ classic, Food Network Kitchen’s hearty chicken variation and even lightened-up versions that still deliver the right creamy-cheesy notes (one’s even vegan!).

Giada’s Fettuccine Alfredo
Giada suggests using homemade fettuccine — it’s fresher and cooks faster than dried pasta. Finish cooking the pasta in the cream sauce — that way, the noodles will absorb the sauce’s buttery flavor.

Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo
Low-fat cream cheese is the perfect substitute for cream in this lighter Alfredo; it creates a thick, luxurious texture without extra calories.

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo
Classic and easy to make, this version of Alfredo doesn’t use flour to thicken the sauce. Instead, it relies on a slight simmer and a heavy dose of cheese. Tossing the pasta and sauce with juicy strips of chicken breast turns it into a hearty, satisfying meal.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
Simply swap shrimp for chicken and you’ve got a seafood-lover’s version of this classic dish. Italians may not approve of cheese with seafood, but this combination proves that it’s a rule worth breaking at times.

Vegan Lemon Fettucine Alfredo
This high-fiber, low-fat, dairy-free version of a comfort classic gets creaminess from the soy cream cheese, big flavor from the garlic, lemon and pepper, and cheesiness from the nutritional yeast.

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