Fettuccine Alfredo is deliciously unhealthy, but you can spice up the nutrition and reduce carbs by switching Fettuccine noodles with Edamame noodles.
For once, the words around the recipe is not fluff. Some things you can skip over, but some things are important because there’s a process involved in this recipe, and the details I provide here will help improve your probability for success.
This is not an easy recipe at first as it requires “tempering.” But once you get that down, it is an easy recipe.
Edamame Fettuccine Alfredo
Better than Olive Garden Alfredo & how to make it delicious with Edamame Noodles.
- 2 Boxes Edamame Fettuccine Noodles
- 3 cups 2% Milk
- 3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 12 Egg Yolks
- 2 cups of Shredded Parmesan or 3 Cheese Italian
- Pink Himalayan Garlic Salt and Regular Pepper
- Place Edamame Noodles into a large pot, fill with water, heavily dump some garlic salt and garlic if you have it, and bring to boil.
- While that's doing it's thing, separate 12 egg yolks and place into a medium sized bowl that can withstand some heat. Go ahead and whisk that if you want.
- In a medium saucepan, one that can hold 6 cups of liquid, mix the 3 cups of milk and 3 cups of whipping cream. Place over medium heat. The important thing is that it's 1 part milk to 1 part cream if you decide to adjust it.
- Bring to a simmer. Basically, you can leave it sit there somewhat unsupervised for 5 to 10 minutes, occasionally check on it and maybe stir a bit (stir especially if you are not using non-stick), and when you see it "frothing," where it looks like a small layer of cappuccino froth on the top, it's ready for the next step. Keep in mind if you over cook too far beyond that, your sauce may look like cheese, which is really easy to accidentally do if you half the recipe. If you undercook, you risk sauce being too runny, but if you see some bubbles, it's generally safe to jump the gun a bit.
- Once the sauce is frothing, remove from heat. Add 2 cups of shredded parmesan, slowly, while stirring into the sauce.
- Dump some of the sauce into your medium bowl of egg yolks, while whisking, a little at a time, and then whisk a few seconds, and then slowly dump that back into the main pot while whisking.
- Place back on medium heat, and it's imperative you do not leave it unsupervised at this point, but stir slowly and continuously for about 3 to 5 minutes until it starts to simmer again. You do not have to wait for it to be frothing. Just the moment you start to see some bubbles, you're probably done.
- Remove pot from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes as the sauce thickens. This whole method of thickening the sauce like this is called tempering.
- Once noodles are boiled, drain. Rinse if you feel the need to. Serve on plate. Top with sauce.
- Feel free to add chicken, vegetables, and garlic toast.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 635Total Fat 51gSaturated Fat 30gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 410mgSodium 538mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 2gSugar 8gProtein 24g
Where did I get this recipe for Alfredo?
I got the recipe for the Alfredo sauce originally from Olive Garden’s website in some crazy hidden place. I’ve made this, and screwed it up, hundreds of times that my recipe is a little different, but not by much. It’s more a better explanation to help improve your success.
What is tempering?
According to Rouxbe,
In cooking, tempering is the process of combining two ingredients of radically different temperatures. The two ingredients are slowly combined so they both gradually rise to the same temperature. Certain recipes require tempering, otherwise the shock of combining the two all at once could run the risk of the mixture curdling, seizing, lumping, or splitting. Tempering is commonly used when making sauces (adding liquid to roux), or when making ice cream and custards.
Basically, your sauce could look like cottage cheese if you are not careful. It’s edible that way, like it still tastes good, but the looks of it will psychosomatically ruin the meal anyway.
If you have never made this before, you may consider a backup meal in case you curdle your sauce, but once you master this, it’s worth it because it’s the best gotdammed sauce… a meal you can look forward to eating.
Why this route?
You might be asking, “if you are such an underachiever due to whatever mom reasons, why waste time and energy on a sauce this much effort?”
Well, for one, you cannot buy a sauce anything like this in a jar in a grocery store. The one short cut I have for this is a bigger pain in the butt than actually making it. And honestly, once you do this several times, you don’t even need the recipe and it’s not that bad to make.
In fact, it’s super easy to make… ONCE you learn how and do it a few times. It just has that annoying learning curve.
Short Cut Idea that’s a Bigger Pain in the Butt than Making it…
Little known fact. You can purchase several Olive Garden sauces by the pint at the restaurant for roughly $5 or $6, already cooked, which is comparable pricing to the premium jar of sauce at Walmart. They offer a marinara, a meat sauce, and their alfredo sauce this way.
The only issue is you first have to call to place your to-go order for they do not offer this on their site, so now you have to talk to people. Then you have to drive to pick it up, so now you have to dress up enough to walk into Olive Garden. You also risk someone not knowing what you’re talking about or a change of policy.
Step 1: Make the Noodles Good…
I personally don’t like the starchy lack of flavor regular noodles have, so I always got creative in the past with the way I boil my noodles. But for sake of using healthier noodles such as Edamame Fettuccine noodles, you really want to attempt to correct any “bad tastes” your kids may later complain about because really it just takes one negative experience with a food for a kid to swear it off for what feels like forever.
Keep in mind for the most part, kids taste buds are different than adult taste buds. In my experience, my children really preferred bland things up until about 4th grade, and they weren’t ready for anything really spicy until 12 or 13 years of age. The one thing science does know about taste is that it’s subjective, different for everyone, and certain health conditions can influence it. You’ll improve your success with noodles like Edamame if you really try to cater to whatever your kids seemingly like.
One easy test to figure where your kid is at with the taste buds is to ask them how much they like School Hot Lunch. If they love hot lunch, they are still in a very bland phase.
You don’t have to boil noodles in water to cook them. You can boil them in almost any liquid. You can season the liquid. The end result is not usually strong enough to replace seasoning in the other ingredients (such as Alfredo sauce), but strong enough to enhance whatever you got going.
So for Alfredo, I like to use garlic. I boil my noodles in water with a bunch of garlic salt, and sometimes I add 2 heaping spoons of minced garlic. You drain it out later, so it doesn’t matter what you put in here.
The longer you boil / simmer them, the stronger the flavor will cook within the noodles, but keep in mind, most noodles cannot handle being boiled/simmered for long. You can also enhance it by adding a little vinegar.
Other flavors you can consider in general with noodles include:
- Alcohol / white wine / red wine / tequila / rum / … remember rum comes from sugar and kids love sugar and spiced rum is a good flavor
- Chicken / Beef / Ham Bouillon
- Anything from the spice cabinet – Basil, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Thyme, Paprika, Adobo, Your favorite special blend
- Actual veggies/herbs like minced garlic, onion, peppers, cilantro, basil, Bay leaves…
- Fruit juices like coconut milk, lemon juice, lime juice…
Step 2: The Alfredo Sauce Process
Once you get this cooking, you don’t have time to measure out your cheese or get your yolks in a bowl. You want these items waiting for you before you start cooking if possible, especially if you can get easily distracted due to children.
Alfredo Prep 1: Dozen Egg Yolks in a Medium Bowl
You need a dozen egg yolk in a medium bowl.
My method: I crack them and flip flop the egg yolk between the two shell halves until it cuts out the whites and leaves only the yolk. Some people just grab the yolk with their fingers and let the whites run through their finger-in-betweens. It’s ok if there’s some egg whites with the yolk. You may buy an 18 pack in case you lose a yolk or two trying this.
You can also go ahead and whisk the yolks into a uniform substance.
Alfredo Prep 2: Get your Cheese Out
Also to pre-prep, I go ahead and get the parmesan cheese ready and sitting out. Now the original Olive Garden recipe called for 1 cup parmesan, 1 cup romano, but I have found it doesn’t matter. If I can get a 3 cheese of Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago, I’ll do 2 cups of that, but just parmesan is fine.
You don’t want the grated kind that you’d use on your Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Slice. You want the shredded one in the refrigerated section.
The 5 oz. tub of Frigo cheese at Walmart is about 2 cups, and I have done well with just dumping an entire tub without measuring. But you can measure it out as well.
Alfredo Step 1: Bring Cream to a Frothing Simmer
I use a 2 Quart Sauce pan, and I wouldn’t go smaller than that, preferably with a nonstick to it because milk and cheese burns easily. I don’t want to scrub that off later. Also, just note, if you do burn it a little at the bottom, you’ll be able to taste that in the whole sauce.
Add 3 cups milk, and 3 cups whipping cream to the pot, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
The original recipe said “Bring to a simmer.” WTF is that supposed to mean? A boil? Some bubbles?
In my experience, the best timing is when it froths. But it doesn’t always froth. And I’ve curdled this just by waiting for a hard boil so no boiling.
So my most successful attempt at the consistency I wanted was to place it over medium heat and walk away. I checked on it every 3 minutes, but I didn’t touch it at all. When I did it this way, it actually frothed pretty heavily at the top. Like a cappuccino froth.
In the past I have been known to stir every 3 minutes to avoid any burning of milk to the bottom of the pan. It does not seemingly actually froth if you stir it. I think it’s because I keep breaking the milky barrier at the top by stirring.
So if you don’t see it actually froth, the other thing to go by is the bubbles. You do not want this to boil. Just small bubbles forming that could form a froth.
There are many ways to make this curdle, and overcooking in this step is one of those ways.
If you’re using a gas stove, or if you half the recipe, I’d do more medium low heat. Possibly a low heat.
It’s very different if you half the recipe because it cooks faster and therefore, this process moves faster. You have a better chance of success cooking 6 cups of the milk/cream.
I would say with an electric stove, I average about 10-15 minutes to get it frothing, and a gas stove seems to be about 7 – 10 minutes. I think it does better if it takes longer to get it to that froth.
Alfredo Step 2: Add Cheese
Take the pot off the heat. Slowly pour in the cheese while whisking or stirring it in.
In this step, things start to look interesting because cheese doesn’t melt and get absorbed by the milk. It ends up being clumpy. That’s fine. Just keep stirring regularly to avoid any of the clumping from burning too hard.
Alfredo Step 3: The egg.
Once the cheese is mixed through, pour some of the cream into the bowl with the egg yolks.
In the long run, I end up pouring about 2 cups of the 6 cups, 1/3 of the mixture, depending on how big the bowl of egg yolks is. But you want to do this SLOWLY.
So you pour in a small running stream while whisking with the other hand. Slowly. You don’t want to cook that egg yolk with the heat from this too much. You want the egg yolk to still be somewhat eggy runny gelatinish when you dump this into the main pot.
Imagine the egg yolk is one of those people who slowly tip-toe into the pool with their shoulders hunched to their ears and arms up over the water and adjust to the water in 25 different heights as opposed to a canon ball type of person.
So pour slowly.
Once you get the egg yolk mixed in well with the portion of the cream in that bowl, then slowly dump it all back to the pot of cream.
Again, slowly, and you want to be whisking it in slowly while you pour it back.
This process usually takes me about 3 minutes.
It will curdle if you don’t do this slowly.
Alfredo Step 4: Attention Whore
This is where you sauce needs your undivided attention. Do not ignore it’s attention seekingness at this point or it will not turn out right.
Place pot back onto the heat set at medium or medium low.
Stir slowly (not like a rigorous whisk, but more of a slow la dee da) and stand there stirring like that until it starts to bubble / simmer again.
You do not need it to be a froth or it might come out a solid hunk. No froth.
This takes 3 to 5 minutes generally. This is the worst time to think about how all those years of school have led up to this moment.
Once you see some bubbles coming up from the sides / perimeter, it’s probably done. A slight froth at the edge.
If you overcook here, it will be too thick. If you undercook, too runny.
But keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools. If you see it thickening up too much before any bubbles form, go ahead and remove from heat.
If you’re like me and worry about it too much, just keep telling yourself, “let’s give it one more minute and see,” and if it changes too abruptly in that minute, then take it off heat, but if it’s about the same, you can go another minute. Think about it, normal alfredo consistency wouldn’t bubble/simmer, like it’s so thick, it would pop and splatter like spaghetti sauce. So if it’s still capable of forming small frothy milk bubbles, it can stay on the heat.
Alfredo Step 5: Now you can almost ignore it
Once you see those little bubbles forming, you can remove it from the heat. Turn off the heat. Add some salt and pepper, and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
So salt and pepper? Yeah first I use garlic salt. Because I honestly do not like it as much without the garlic flavor. It’s a big deal to me at least. I also use Pink Himalayan Garlic Salt if that’s an option just because it’s less sodium and supposedly healthier.
I sprinkle enough to kind of cover the top but like that will change if the pot’s diameter is different. So I would do a thin coating that covers the top like cinnamon on cinnamon toast, stir, and taste. If it needs more, add more. Just remember, you can’t remove it if you add too much.
Step 3: Put it Together to get Edamame Fettuccine Alfredo
You can choose to mix the noodles with the sauce and serve that way, or put noodles on a plate and cover with sauce.
I have found that 2 boxes of the 7.05 oz of SeaPoint Farms Edmame Noodles are exactly the right amount for this amount of alfredo, so if you do that, you may want to mix them to make sure you don’t waste noodles by overdoing the sauce in serving. If you do one box of noodles, then it’s possible you could use the leftover sauce to dip breadsticks into.
I personally find the easiest mom solution is to mix them up, plop into a bowl, and then store leftovers.
Optional Recipe Substitutes
You can substitute the Edamame Noodles with any noodle, pasta, or keto pasta recipe. I have no idea how it tastes with veggies as noodles beyond Edamame, but I would consider trying cauliflower, sliced egg plant, or sliced Zucchini.
You can add Meat and Veggies to the Fettuccine Alfredo. Ideas…
- Chicken, mushrooms, red pepper, spinach
- Shrimp, coconut, lime
- Beef tips (plus Chicago Seasoning), real bacon bits, mushrooms, bleu cheese
- Ground Beef, Broccoli
- Beef tips (plus Chicago Seasoning), asparagus, red pepper, mushrooms
- Shrimp cooked in Cajun Seasoning, paprika, lemon pepper, and a little white wine vinegar
- Chicken, Spinach, Basil, Onion,
- Bacon, Mushrooms, Spinach
This meal goes really well with Garlic Bread or Breadsticks.
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