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Cook it light: 'Skinny Fettuccine' is full of flavor

Dear Jeanne: This is a delicious but very rich dish — can you lighten it? Thank you so much! —Denise Heath, Minneapolis

Dear Denise: This is a delicious and rich dish! I think I've got the best of both worlds in my revision. It still tastes fantastic, but the fat has been reduced by almost 80 percent!


FETTUCCINE WITH HAM AND TURKEY

12 ounces fettuccine

1/2 cup butter

8 large mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup chopped cooked ham

1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey

1 teaspoon chicken-stock base

2 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley

Cook fettuccine, drain and return to pan. Add 1/4 cup of the butter and toss until melted. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet. Add mushrooms and saute lightly. Add ham and turkey, and heat. Combine chicken-stock base, 1/2 cup of the half-and-half and the flour in a saucepan and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in remaining half-and-half, salt and white pepper, and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Add mushroom mixture to sauce and stir until well mixed. Add sauce to noodles and toss, then add cheese and toss again. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 6 servings.


SKINNY FETTUCCINE WITH HAM AND TURKEY

12 ounces fettuccine

1 tablespoon butter

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) chopped cooked lean ham

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) chopped cooked turkey breast

1 cup frozen peas

2 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon chicken-stock base (optional)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley

1. Cook the fettuccine al dente, drain and return to the pan. Add a little water to the cooked noodles to prevent them from sticking together and set aside.

2. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened slightly. Add the ham, turkey and peas, and heat through, about 2 minutes more.

3. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the fat-free half-and-half, the flour, the white pepper and the chicken-stock base (if using). Stir or whisk to dissolve the flour, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining half-and-half and bring back to a boil.

4. Drain the noodles thoroughly. Add the sauce to the mushroom mixture, and mix well. Add the mixture to the noodles and toss, then add the cheese and toss again. Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 566 calories; 32 gm fat; 101 mg cholesterol; 756 mg sodium; 49 gm carbohydrates; 20 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 395 calories; 7 gm fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 541 mg sodium; 57 gm carbohydrates; 20 gm protein; 3 gm fiber.


Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas.

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