Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach & Tomato

Hello strangers!

So, last week was probably the first full week that I did not post on this little corner of the internet of mine since I started this blog. Trust me, it wasn’t by choice!

I was pretty much in technology hell all week. My beloved computer had been running really slow, and I was troubleshooting and running back and forth to the Apple Store like my life depended on it – because well, it kind of does. I work on my computer every single day and depend on it as a publicist, blogger, freelance writer and health coach. So, you can imagine that I have a lot of stuff on this computer of mine!

To make a long story short, the good news is that my computer was salvaged and is now working fast. But what’s the bad news? Apple restored my computer without consulting me first, and wiped out many of my photos that I saved only on my computer + an external hard drive that randomly stopped working last week. And since my computer was running so poorly, I wasn’t able to successfully back up my photos. Believe me, I tried.

So yea, I’m majorly bummed about the photos being lost. I keep thinking of my travel photos, wedding shots, and captured family memories that I’ll probably never get to see again.

(Yes, my photos are now set up to automatically go to “the cloud” every day so that this never happens again.)

But on the bright side, I can recover some of them by looking at my past posts and social media, and saving them back one by one. Luckily I’ve posted a ton of photos on this blog of mine! And, I can resume working on my computer and it not take me 4x as long to do things. I know this sounds like such a first world problem, but with how much I rely on my Mac, the whole situation was very stressful. I’m thankful for yoga, baking and my bike trainer for keeping me sane when I wanted to rip my hair out!

So that’s that, but let’s get to the good stuff today… aka pasta.

Today’s recipe is one that I’ve been making for years. I first started making this dish after I had a craving for fettuccine alfredo, but when I ordered it out at a restaurant and ate half of the dish, I left feeling too full and kind of sick. That’s the thing about consistently eating healthy & light: When you eat heavier food once in awhile, your body does not like it! So, I did what any good food blogger would do: I came up with a lightened up recipe that leaves me feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

Some healthier alfredo recipes nix heavy cream as an ingredient, but I wanted to keep the recipe authentic while also using the ingredients that are known to make up an alfredo sauce. Sometimes you just want the real thing, ya know?

I healthify the dish up by using less heavy cream, and by incorporating reserved pasta water into the dish at the end so that the pasta isn’t dry. I also love the addition of spinach and tomato in this recipe, which gives fettuccine alfredo a nutritional punch.

I make this lightened up fettuccine alfredo when I’m in the mood for pasta with a white sauce, and although it’s not as heavy and rich as typical fettuccine alfredo, it’s perfect for satisfying my craving. Nutrition-wise, a nice sized serving comes in around 550 calories, 16g of fat, 18g of protein and 86g of carbs.

Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach & Tomato
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 2 cups baby spinach, packed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ⅔ cup reserved pasta water
  • ½ TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Once it's done cooking, reserve ⅔ of the pasta water before draining.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, halve the cherry tomatoes, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the baby spinach, parsley and basil.
  3. Warm the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add in the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add in the cherry tomatoes, and cook for about 7 minutes, or until they're tender.
  4. Add in the spinach and herbs. Cook just until spinach is wilted.
  5. Add in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Cook until the mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes, while stirring a few times.
  6. Once the pasta is drained, return it to the pot. Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce/veggie mixture, then pour the sauce into the pasta pot. Add in salt & pepper, and toss to coat everything evenly.
  7. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe, Calories: 550, Fat: 16g, Saturated fat: 9g, Carbohydrates: 86g, Sugar: 4g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 18g

Tell me… Do you have a go-to pasta dish? Have you had any tech issues lately?

5 thoughts on “Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach & Tomato

  1. marcie

    I hate when I have technological difficulties…it’s such a drag! Glad you’re back at it, and this pasta looks delicious! Most alfredo suaces are too rich for me, so I love that this is lightened up!

    Reply
  2. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    Oh no… I feel you. If my computer died, I would literally cry. And I’m NOT a crier.

    This looks amazing! We’re Italian junkies over here. I really, really want to move to Italy. Sigh.

    See you Friday!!! I’ll text you when I get back form Tahoe. šŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. David @ Spiced

    Oh no! I am so sorry about the computer troubles, Nicole. I was there in that boat about a year ago when Microsoft did an automatic update one night that melted my computer. It’s the worst! I’m glad you are back up and running again, but I’m sorry to hear about the photos…and what are the chances that the external hard drive would act up at the same time?? Either way, it looks like you still had some delicious eats last week! I love alfredo sauce, but I rarely eat it since it’s so bad for you. I’m all about this lightened up version, and I think I need to make this very, very (very!) soon! šŸ™‚

    Reply
  4. Jen

    Computer troubles are the worst! My husband is in IT and while I’m thankful to have my personal tech support, i’m sure he is sick of my OMG help me texts lol.
    I have been looking for a good fettuccine alfredo recipe, can not wait to give this one a try!

    Reply

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