My two favorite flavors by far are lemon and black pepper – lucky for me they pair well together! I do love a good pasta but I don’t often have creamy sauces because of their extreme richness. Something light with olive oil and tomatoes is typically what I’ll choose. I knew that I wanted to try a creamy lemon-style fettuccine so I created a lightened-up Lemon Fettuccine with Black Pepper that highlights summer flavor but isn’t loaded with cream and butter.
This is a recipe that you can make all year round but I think matches particularly well with summertime. This Lemon Fettuccine with Black Pepper would be fabulous with shrimp or halibut and/or a big, crunchy green salad with a lemony vinaigrette. Rip up fresh basil from your garden and season generously with freshly ground black pepper on the top before serving.
In fact, this recipe doesn’t have any butter in it at all. The creaminess comes from a combination of low-fat or plant-based milk, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. You can cut the amount of sauce and let the texture of the noodles shine through if you brighten up the flavor with ingredients like shallot and lemon which create a more complex flavor. Relying on saturated fat and salt alone is easy – humans are designed to like that – but with a little creativity and a recipe like Lemon Fettuccine with Black Pepper. As you adapt your classic recipes, start brainstorming about how you can swap out excess fat and calories for fresh, light ingredients full of flavor. You may be surprised how simple swaps can brighten up a dish.
If you’re a pasta person, I’ve got other recipes on the blog for you! Check out this Simple Edamame Pasta Salad or Easy Tomato Basil Pasta (made with bean pasta!) to take on your next picnic or gathering.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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