Three-cheese fettuccine quick, tasty |

Three-cheese fettuccine quick, tasty

Fettuccine tossed with a light, three-cheese sauce and served with sauteed garlic green beans makes a quick menu.

To make this a vegetarian dinner, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for the cheese sauce.

Using pans for more than one purpose saves cooking time and, most important, up time. The pasta is boiled in a large pot of water and the beans need to be blanched. I place the beans in a strainer and dip the strainer into the boiling pasta water for 1 or 2 minutes while the pasta continues to cook in the same pan. The strainer can be lifted out and placed under cold water, saving time and the use of an extra pot.

Also, the beans are sauteed for a couple of minutes before serving. After the pasta is drained and tossed with the sauce, I use the same pasta pot to saute the beans.

If you’re pressed for time, open a bag of Italian-style salad and serve it with a low-fat dressing instead of the sauteed beans.

Saffron is the stigma of a small blue crocus and is expensive to harvest.

You need only a small amount for the fettuccine. Bijol or turmeric can be used, but the flavor will be different.

A nice wine match-by-contrast would be a light, crisp white muscadet or albarino, or even a sauvignon blanc.

Three Cheese Fettuccine

&#149 Water

&#149 1/2 cup fat-free, low-salt chicken broth

&#149 1/8 teaspoon saffron strands

&#149 1/2 cup chopped/frozen onion

&#149 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, (1 ounce)

&#149 1/2 cup nonfat ricotta cheese

&#149 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

&#149 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

&#149 Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

&#149 1/2 pound fresh whole-wheat fettuccine

&#149 2 tablespoons broken walnuts

Place a pot containing 3 to 4 quarts of water on to boil for the pasta. Add the chicken broth to a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring it to a simmer. Add the saffron and onion; simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Gorgonzola and ricotta cheese. Mix well. Stir in the cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a pasta serving bowl.

Add the fettuccine to the boiling water and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, or, if using dried, boil according to package instructions. Drain and add to the cheese sauce. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the walnuts on top and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 614 calories (18 percent from fat), 13 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 42 illigrams cholesterol, 30 grams protein, 94 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams dietary fiber, 563 milligrams sodium.

Sauteed Garlic Green Beans

&#149 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and rinsed (about 2 cups)

&#149 2 teaspoons olive oil

&#149 1 teaspoon minced garlic

&#149 Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the green beans in a sieve or colander and add the boiling pasta water for 2 minutes. Remove and run cold water over the beans. Or, microwave the green beans, covered, on high for 2 minutes. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet or reuse the pasta saucepan. Add the beans and toss for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 78 calories (54 percent from fat), 5 fat (1 gram saturated), 0 cholesterol, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 8 miligrams sodium.

Helpful Hints:

&#149 Crumbled domestic Gorgonzola can be found in the dairy section of the market and works well here.

&#149 Minced garlic can be found in jars in the produce section of the supermarket.

&#149 Any type of pasta such as linguine or spaghetti can be used.


&#149 Place water for pasta on to boil.

&#149 Make cheese sauce.

&#149 Boil pasta, drain and toss with cheese sauce.

&#149 Make green beans.


Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 small package crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, 1 small carton nonfat ricotta cheese, 1 small piece Parmesan cheese,1 small package saffron strands, 1 small bottle cayenne pepper, 1 package chopped/diced frozen onion, 1 package fresh whole wheat fettuccine, 1 package broken walnuts and 1/2 pound trimmed green beans

Staples: Olive oil, fat-free, low-salt chicken broth, minced garlic, salt and black peppercorns.

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