19 November 2011
Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Homemade Tomato Pasta
My pasta-plating skills need work.
Foodbuzz Tastemaker sent me a jar of Classico Light Alfredo Sauce to review. I typically stay away from light products, but the ingredient list here looked decent and contained just a few thickeners. Alfredo sauce is exceptionally heavy, so perhaps a light version would be a good thing.
To accompany my review is a batch of homemade pasta, which I had been meaning to try make for a while. What stopped me was the process of rolling it out by hand. But it tastes so good, and I was prepared to do whatever it took.
I knew I wanted to make a flavored pasta. Tomato seemed easy enough, especially after finding a tomato paste-based pasta recipe. The tomato paste greatly enhanced the flavor and was simple to prepare.
In a small saucepan, I heated half a can of tomato paste with olive oil until warm. The recipe says to add olive oil, though it isn't amongst the ingredients. I used about a tablespoon. The warm tomato paste is whisked into beaten eggs, then poured into the flour.
After a ten minute knead (which made my palms itchy), the dough is covered and rested for an hour to help relax the glutens and hydrate the dough. It also supposedly makes it easier to roll out.
I don't have a pasta machine, but I do have a nice rolling pin. It's long and has tapered edges and makes rolling out wide doughs easier than using a rolling pin with handles. I would suggest picking one up (or adding it to your Christmas list...).
My method for rolling out pasta dough is to flour the underside and top of the dough. Roll it out, then lift the sheet and dust with flour if needed. I repeat this five times and let it rest, covered, for ten minutes to relax the dough. Once it's rested, I roll it out again 5 times. Sometimes I flop the sheet over. Once it's fairly thin, about 1/4 of an inch, I dust with flour, roll the sheet up, and slice into strips.
I sliced my pasta into thick strips. It doesn't look like there's much pasta, but because it is thicker it works out to the same amount as pasta from a box.
Unroll the strips and toss with a little extra flour. Since I wasn't making the pasta a day in advance, I laid the strips on a cooling rack and let it stay out overnight to dry. The pasta takes about 5 minutes to cook in boiling, salted water. It's chewy, delicious, and has a great tomato flavor. You could add herbs and it would make it taste even better.
The sauce tasted great. It was lighter and not as heavy as a richer sauce, though it still had a pronounced parmesan flavor. It coated the pasta nicely. The alfredo sauce contains 60 calories and 5 mg of fat per 1/4 cup serving, and serves seven. For me, though, I used the jar up for 4 servings, but that's fine with me. I'd purchase this again if I found it on sale.
What's your favorite pasta sauce?