This is one of those recipes that the minute I saw it, I knew I had to make it. Can you relate? It was such an immediate decision that I actually made it for dinner the next evening. There was no doubt we would love it for its taste, but I love it even more for its simplicity.
The cream sauce here is not made with your typical heavy cream. Instead, it’s thickened up with a healthier alternative of light cream cheese. (Let me make my confession here that I used regular cream cheese because it is what I had on hand.) The combination was perfection. Ben was super enthusiastic about this dish stating “All thumbs up!” (I’m not really sure how many thumbs he thinks he has.)
- 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine pasta
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 ounces cream cheese (1/3 less fat or regular)
- 1/4 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (I used Kalamata)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
Cook the pasta in boiling water seasoned with salt until almost to al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain while reserving 1 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to the pot, away from the heat, and drizzle with a little olive oil to keep from sticking together.
Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring frequently. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the reserved 1 1/3 cup pasta water, then bring to a boil. Stir in the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the pasta, olives, and red pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes, or until pasta reaches al dente, tossing to coat. Serve immediately garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese.
Source: Adapted from Sweet Tea and Taters, originally Cooking Light Magazine