Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Big Bowl of Sin

Tom Jones stood me up last night. Well, me and 2,828 other middle aged women who were supposed to see him in concert at the Beacon Theatre. I'll be honest, seeing Tom Jones wasn't exactly on my bucket list. Hell, it wasn't even on my radar screen. But last week, my dear friend M., asked me to join her for the show and I happily agreed. I'll see almost anyone in concert and seeing TJ live is on M.'s bucket list, so why not? At a minimum, I was certain it would make for a fun, campy post for today.

Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. M. and I met for a yummy dinner at Gus & Gabriel, then walked down to the Beacon only to find a throng of bitterly disappointed women and the word "Postponed" flashing on the marquis. Seems that Mr. Jones has fallen victim to that age old menace - "vocal chord strain" - after a bout of bronchitis. I wish him a speedy recovery!

The concert will be rescheduled, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, that leaves me rather post-less for the day. Post-less unless I decide to fess up to that big bowl of sin pictured above. Yes, its Fettuccine Alfredo; and, yes, that pasta is white. The horror, the horror! Its also incredibly delicious and not nearly as bad as it seems.

Here in Divaland, we call this dish Fake Fettuccine and its a once-in-a-while treat. What with the South Beaching and all, I haven't made this dish in over a year. Oh how I've missed it! Now, before you call in the fat police, lets get a few things straight. This is a slimmed down, lower fat, lower cholesterol version and its as delicious as can be. I don't actually have a recipe and I don't measure anything ... I'll do my best to offer amounts here, but mainly we're talking about a make-as-you-go kind of dish.

Divalicious Fake Fettuccine:
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • a small carton of fat-free Half and Half
  • 5 oz. Dannon All Natural Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • gererous grind of fresh black pepper
  • some freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 pound of cooked fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water
  • additional grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Cook the fettuccine in a large pot according to package directions. You want the pasta to be al dente, so don't over cook it. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. While the pasta is draining, melt the butter over medium-high heat in the same pot in which you've cooked the pasta. Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes. Add about 2/3 of a cup of fat-free Half and Half to the pot and raise the heat to high. Allow the mixture to come to the boil and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and add @ 5 oz. of fat-free plain yogurt, stirring well to combine. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, some fresly ground black pepper and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, stirring well to combine. Add the fresh chives and continue stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding more Half and Half, Parmesan, a/o salt and pepper as desired.

Serve immediately, garnished with some additional Parmesan, grated nutmeg and chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

As written, this recipe will serve 2 to 3 depending on portion size. (In our house it serves 3, but appetites do vary!) Obviously you can increase the quantities as necessary to serve more. The reserved cooking liquid can be used to thin the sauce, as needed, particularly for second helpings.

This is a fast, fresh and altogether delicious dish and its completely worth the sin. Feel free to play around with any of the amounts listed - as I said, its a make-as-you-go kind of deal. If you're not a Diva on a Diet, by all means feel free to use some light cream in place of the Half and Half ... your secret will be safe with me.

I invented my Fake Fettuccine more than 10 years ago, in an effort to satisfy my Alfredo loving husband *and* my inner fat cop ... both of whom are well-pleased with the results.

Bon appetite!


Heavenly Housewife said...

Sorry to hear about your concert, even if it wasnt your choice, it sucks when things like that happens. Glad you had a delicious pasta to tuck into :)

stephchows said...

Bummer about the concert :( but dinner sure looks delicious :)

words...words...words... said...

Ciò sembra squisita!

Too bad about Tom Jones. Especially since his vocal cords were seemingly healthy enough to appear on the Jimmy Fallon show last night!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Yes, a real bummer. The luscious pasta was had on Sunday night though ... was intending to keep it to myself ... then TJ let me down. The Diva show must go on though!

words words words - so I've since heard! The "strained vocal chords" thing is the oldest excuse in the book for not wanting to go on. Perhaps TJ had a Diva-moment of his own last night. WTF?!

The Diva on a Diet said...

One more thing, words ... re:

Ciò sembra squisita!

... that's the idea! ;)

Christie's Corner said...

I actually saw Tom Jones live when I lived in Australia back in 2000. I went for the "camp factor" but was pleasantly surprised. He put on quite the show. Mind you, that was almost 10 years ago (Yikes!) If I recall correctly, some women threw panties on the stage.

Christie's Corner said...

Allow me to clarify. I was not one of the panty-throwers.

Anonymous said...

You are a good friend and good dieter. I would never bother with a slimmed down version of Alfredo. I eat it so seldom (as it sounds you do) that I'd spring for the classic version. Of course, I am straining my fat pants as I sit here typing that out so obviously, my strategy could use revision.

doggybloggy said...

Somewhere around here on some shelf or in some drawer is a picture of ME and Tom Jones - saw him on the street doing a photo shoot and had to do it - this was like in 1989-90 - twenty years ago!

Maven said...

I went to see Anne Murray in concert last year with my mother and she rocked!!

I'm sure Tom would have been fabulous ;)

But how weird? Yesterday I knew I had whipping cream I needed to use up and so made a big old plate of fetuccini myself.

In honour of that, and my expanding, erm, parts, I salute you! The dinner looks delicious.

Karine said...

Sorry about the concert :(

However, the pasta sounds delicious!

Donna-FFW said...

That so bites about the concert..

However, this dish looks so delicious and sounds so perfect, it is the silver lining.

The Duo Dishes said...

Fat cop! ha! Too funny. This is a keeper. A low fat alfredo/white sauce is good to have on hand.

pixelgal said...

Maybe his vocal cords were suffering from too many thirsty thursday concoctions on Tuesday?? He may have just about had time to guzzle coffee before his big evening performance. Boooo!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Charmian - LOL! I won't be surprised if he does indeed put on a good show ... if I get to see it.

Dana - I do splurge on the real thing once in a very great while ... and usually only in Philly. There's an old time Italian place there, Dante & Luigi's, that has the most insanely indulgent alfredo. Gah, its heaven!

doggybloggy - how cool! If you find the pic, post it. Would love to see it. :)

Maven - further proof that great minds think alike! ;)

Karine - thank you! And welcome to Beach Eats!

Donna - yes, it did bite! Hate those last minute disappointments. :/

Duo - my fat cop works overtime ... often! ;)

pixelgal - indeed! Hopefully he will make it up ... M. will be terribly sad if she doesn't get to see him live.

Daily Spud said...

So funny you should mention Tom Jones - even if he did stand you up. He's one of the headline acts for Guinness's big party on Arthur's Day in September. I'm hoping that I will happen across him then and, who knows, maybe I will get a campy post out of it :) Meanwhile, a girl's gotta have some of that fettucine every once in a while!

Deb said...

I have not dared to indulge in Alfredo real or scaled down since beaching. I'm too big a pasta freak to risk the mayhem it would play with my resolve to avoid too many processed carbs and also my need to keep my DH saturated fat free. But boy oh boy does it look yummy!

Tangled Noodle said...

The concert was a no-go but it resulted in this alternative post! I adore fettuccine Alfredo but no longer indulge; that may change, with your slimmed down version. Yes, a marinara would be less caloric, blah, blah, blah . . . But a kitten's gotta have her cream every once in a while! Thank you for this recipe!

Laura said...

My husband will LOVE this one Diva. I don't make fettuccine for exactly that reason too and he misses it. About once a year I make the real thing and he always raves. This is on my list to make and soon!