DEAR PEGGY: How can I decrease the amount of fat in Alfredo sauce? —L. B., Wahpeton, North Dakota
First, I'll tell you, experimentation is the key. We've done a handful of lighter cream sauces, and they often take 2 or 3 tries to get them right.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Decrease the amount of butter by half and/or use reduced-fat butter.
- Switch to a lighter cream or an alternative — try half-and-half cream, 2% milk or evaporated milk. We often use a combination of half-and-half cream and fat-free milk. You'll have to experiment to see "how low you can go" on the richness of the cream substitute while still enjoying the final product.
- Use a thickener — since you'll be using a lighter cream/milk product, the sauce will not be as thick as a full-fat sauce. Reserve some of the liquid and whisk it with 1-2 tablespoons flour and then stir into the sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Incorporate ricotta — process reduced-fat or part-skim ricotta in a food processor or blender to get it as smooth as possible and whisk into your sauce. This will add richness and body, but not as much fat as cream, to the sauce.
I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. Alfredo sauce can be tricky to lighten up.