A Shrimply Fabulous Fettuccine Alfredo

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 03, 2009
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Christopher Simon, a consultative sales associate with Sears at Windward Mall for the past three years, has a wealth of knowledge about appliances and electronics.

Chris is a Kailua resident, was born and raised on Oahu, and is a graduate of Kalaheo High School. He is currently a student at the University of Hawaii-Manoa majoring in computer science. He is an avid sports fan, especially soccer, and in his free time enjoys working on the computer, twittering, playing video games and being outdoors at the beach.

Chris tells me that he reads this column every week and enjoys cooking, so I would like to dedicate this recipe to him with a hearty thank you!

While several countries, including Italy, China, Japan and France, claim credit for the invention of pasta, its exact origin remains vague. According to some sources, pasta was introduced into Italy by Marco Polo when he returned from China in the late 1200s, and there is evidence of Chinese consumption of buckwheat and soybean noodles long before Marco Polo traveled there.


 

In Naples, pasta was made as early as the 15th century, but it wasn’t until the beginning of the 19th century, when the drying process was perfected, that pasta became popular.

In the United States, good-quality pasta is made from durum wheat. Pasta also can be made using soft wheat flour, a blend of hard and soft wheat flour, buckwheat flour or rice flour, to name a few. The coloring of pasta may be provided by adding food coloring agents or vegetable purees.

In Asia, noodles are more commonly made of buckwheat flour or rice flour.

A LIGHTER ALFREDO WITH SHRIMP

* 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails off

* 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine

* olive oil, to coat bottom of pan

* 1 pound fettuccine pasta, cooked al dente, drained, tossed with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and placed back in pan to keep warm

For Sauce:

* 1 cup evaporated skim milk

* 1/4 cup half and half

* 1/2 cup Romano cheese

* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

* 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

* 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, or to taste

* fresh basil leaves, for garnish


Sauté shrimp with garlic in a heated pan coated with cooking spray until cooked through; keep warm. Add skim milk and half and half to a saucepan and stir to combine. Stir in cheeses and spices until well-combined and cook over low heat until sauce thickens a bit. Add sauce to pasta and stir to combine.

Serve on a platter with sautéed shrimp on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Garnish with fresh basil.

Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 310
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Cholesterol: 85 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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