“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
‘Tis the season for pumpkin galore! Whether you like pumpkin or not, you pretty much can’t escape the frenzy. For those of you who happen to be pumpkin obsessed like me and also happen to enjoy a comforting bowl of alfredo pasta, you will this dish!
This is my all time favorite alfredo sauce. It’s so addictive, I could pretty much just eat it off a spoon 🙂 And better yet it’s much healthier then the typical high fat and salt alfredo sauce from a jar. It uses olive oil instead of butter to provide some healthier fats, non-fat milk and low-fat cream cheese (I think this is what really makes it yummy!). By adding the pumpkin puree and a few extra herbs, it makes a fantastic seasonal dish and provides an extra dose of Vitamin A. Combine it with some fresh steamed veggies and grilled chicken to make it a balanced and wholesome meal.
Any kind of pasta noodles can be used for this recipe. I happened to find these super cute fall harvest pasta noodles. I thought they would be appropriate for the pumpkin theme and fun for little Noelle to eat. Turns out when they were fully cooked they kind of lost their obvious shape of pumpkins and leaves, but still cute nonetheless!
Now lets talk nutrition! Carbohydrates…good or bad?
The negative connotation of pasta having “carbs” has definitely made things confusing and causes many to question the healthiness of pasta. Well let me just say (without rambling too much) that carbs are actually a major nutrient that we all need to survive. Even diabetics need them! It gives us energy and fuels our brains. But like everything else, it’s all about balance. Just remember to choose your carbs wisely. Here is a chart that shows a nice visual on “good” vs. “bad” carbs.
In terms of grains, the USDA Guidelines recommends the average adult consume 6-8 oz. of grains per day, with at least half of them being whole grains.
One oz. equivalent of pasta = ½ cup of cooked pasta.
So that doesn’t necessarily mean you should only eat ½ cup pasta in your meal… Just be aware of how many grains you’re eating that day and count your pasta servings towards that 6-8 oz/day.
Click here to see specifically how many oz of grains/day you should be eating.
Click here to see a chart that shows what counts as an oz for other common grains.
Now go and enjoy a healthy bowl of Skinny Pumpkin Alfredo! Also check out some more tasty and healthy pasta dishes on the bottom of this post, written by other fellow food bloggers. I will be posting a few more this week too! 🙂
- ~9 oz pasta noodles (any kind will do)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp. flour
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. low-fat cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups non-fat milk
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
- 1/2-1 cup parmesan cheese (add to your desired cheesiness)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- dried basil, sage, nutmeg (added to taste)
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized pot, warm the olive oil and sauté the garlic for a minute over medium-low heat.
- Add the flour and whisk together. Then add the cream cheese and briefly whisk together until combined.
- Pour the milk into the mixture and continue to whisk frequently to smooth out the sauce. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk.
- Bring the sauce to gentle simmer to allow it to thicken, then remove from the heat.
- Add parmesan cheese, salt and sprinkle in herbs to taste. Stir together until the cheese is melted. Toss with your favorite pasta noodles.
- If desired, serve with some fresh steamed veggies, like broccoli, and a protein such as grilled chicken.
Serving size: 1 Calories: 249 Total Fat: 6 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 38 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 266 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 10 g Cholesterol: 10