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Best cheat creamy sauce?

thelastnightingalethelastnightingale Member, Premium Posts: 473 Member Member, Premium Posts: 473 Member
in Recipes
The best cream sauce is simply butter + double cream + salt + pepper. However, not very weight loss-friendly.

Has anyone had any success in making an alternative creamy sauce that doesn't have an insane amount of calories? I've been unconvinced by what Google's thrown up (complicated things involving stock and rice or milk), so thought I'd ask some real people for their ideas.

There's always a proper carbonara for a creamy texture, but I haven't made that in ages given it's only good for one portion as it doesn't keep.

I've been mostly eating tomato-based pasta sauces, which are much better calorie-wise, but the heart wants what the heart wants! (Or should that be stomach?)
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Replies

  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,622 Member Member Posts: 5,622 Member
    Also try classic carbonara. For two people the fats are 1 tablespoon olive oil, 75g bacon, 50g grated parmesan. The creaminess comes from semi cooked egg. For two people I normally use 1 egg and 1 yolk instead of the 2 eggs and 1 yolk in the recipe below.

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/may/10/how-to-cook-perfect-spaghetti-carbonara
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 5,868 Member Member Posts: 5,868 Member
    What I use (live in Italy) is "Panna Chef Leggera". It's 132 cal for 100g, that's half of reg cream "Panna Chef". I've had great luck using it, especially in risottos. I don't make Carbonara because my husband doesn't eat meat--bacon or pancetta or guanciale. I see you're in England and don't know if you can buy it there, or something similar.
  • thelastnightingalethelastnightingale Member, Premium Posts: 473 Member Member, Premium Posts: 473 Member
    I can't get Panna Chef Leggera easily, but it's not impossible. :) Might see if some of the specialist Italian shops here import it.

    Thinking about it, the ridiculously complicated recipe I saw using rice was to get at the starch, so using the starchy pasta water makes sense. I assume cacio e pepe is like carbonara in that you can only really make as much as you need, because it doesn't keep at all? Still, it looks relatively simple (once you acquire the technique, which I appreciate is going to be the hard part!) so perhaps having to make it from scratch each time won't be too much of a pain.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions!
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,622 Member Member Posts: 5,622 Member
    I can't get Panna Chef Leggera easily, but it's not impossible. :) Might see if some of the specialist Italian shops here import it.

    Thinking about it, the ridiculously complicated recipe I saw using rice was to get at the starch, so using the starchy pasta water makes sense. I assume cacio e pepe is like carbonara in that you can only really make as much as you need, because it doesn't keep at all? Still, it looks relatively simple (once you acquire the technique, which I appreciate is going to be the hard part!) so perhaps having to make it from scratch each time won't be too much of a pain.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions!

    One more tip about the cacio pepe. I have only successfully made it in a cold bowl or pan, not the hot pan that the pasta cooked in. Every once in a while, the hubby (who is a stickler for food temperature) insists I try to make it in the hot pan the pasta cooked in. The cheese always splits when I try this. If you have someone in the house who insists on steaming hot pasta, have them pop their serving in the microwave for a minute afterwards.
  • Dootzy1Dootzy1 Member Posts: 915 Member Member Posts: 915 Member
    I make a quick gravy with a cup chicken boullion or broth, thickened with corn starch slurry. Add miso or soy sauce, a tablespoon of butter, some garlic, maybe some poultry seasoning......
    edited January 4
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Member Posts: 1,343 Member Member Posts: 1,343 Member
    I’d almost always choose to have a tomato sauce with pasta but I’ve had success with using ricotta on the occasion I want something creamy instead.

    A couple of days ago I made a Lemon Orzo dish which was amazing. 50g of ricotta, zest of a lemon, lemon juice from half the lemon, black pepper and chopped fresh parsley. Threw some frozen peas and some chopped dwarf beans into the pasta water for the last few mins. Drained, reserving some of the starchy water, let down the ricotta mix with the pasta water, stirred into the Orzo & greens! Was so tasty and hit the creamy comfort spot!
  • rhaiinrhaiin Member Posts: 736 Member Member Posts: 736 Member
    Try making a cream cheese based sauce. I usually use light cream cheese or Neufchatel with some olive oil, parmesan and water. Its good on pasta and chicken. It tastes similar to alfredo.

    This is similar to what I make, but I don't use a recipe usually. 10 Minute Cream Cheese Pasta
  • gallicinvasiongallicinvasion Member, Premium Posts: 1,006 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,006 Member
    I second the cream cheese based sauce, but also I use this all the time and love it:


    https://showmetheyummy.com/healthy-alfredo-sauce-recipe/#recipe
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 5,868 Member Member Posts: 5,868 Member
    I second the cream cheese based sauce, but also I use this all the time and love it:


    https://showmetheyummy.com/healthy-alfredo-sauce-recipe/#recipe

    This looks very good--will try.
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,622 Member Member Posts: 5,622 Member
    I started craving cacio e pepe so made some tonight. I deviate from the Guardian recipe by grinding pepper with the pepper mill into a pan and toasting that off in the dry pan, instead of toasting whole pepper corns which need to be ground afterwards in the food processor or spice grinder.
    9cveke803b6g.jpeg

  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,622 Member Member Posts: 5,622 Member
    I tried to reheat leftover cacio e pepe sauce that was congealed at the bottom of the pan I made it in. Heated very gently with a few tablespoons of starchy pasta water seemed to work. However, when I stirred in the hot macaronni the cheese did start to clump and separate.
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  • ellengreen74ellengreen74 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    I always do low fat creme fraiche and parmesan when i want a creamy sauce.
  • doxieangie186doxieangie186 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    This is probably not as great as the one posted here but I sometimes melt a couple of slices of laughing cow cheese wedges. They get creamy and are great on pasta or zoodles.
  • MichelleMcKeeRNMichelleMcKeeRN Member, Premium Posts: 221 Member Member, Premium Posts: 221 Member
    I make a chicken and rice dish with broth, egg and lemon. It makes a nice creamy sauce.
    Also, you can substitute Greek yogurt in sauces that call for sour cream. That really helps a lot.
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,622 Member Member Posts: 5,622 Member
    It's not creamy but rich with ground almonds. I can't believe something so simple can be so good. You can get away with considerably less olive oil than the recipe calls for.
    https://www.greatitalianchefs.com/recipes/pesto-trapanese-recipe
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,622 Member Member Posts: 5,622 Member
    I managed to reheat leftover carbonara sauce. First picture the unappetizing dregs of the leftover sauce (mostly pancetta), straight out of the refrigerator. I boiled some macaronni, stirred in 2 tablespoons of hot starchy pasta water into the sauce, stirred in an extra egg and then the cooked macaronni.
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    f3880vhx4c2a.jpeg
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Member Posts: 1,343 Member Member Posts: 1,343 Member
    The Avocado thread has just reminded me of another silky, creamy way to eat pasta that’s especially delicious in summer but still warming and creamy in winter!

    Avocado, basil and either Skyr or Greek Yoghurt. Whizz your avocado up with a large handful of fresh basil leaves, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper and enough Skyr to make a creamy sauce consistency.

    Throw into your hot cooked pasta with a touch of the starchy pasta water, and some chopped cherry tomatoes and extra basil if you like. I’ve added frozen peas on occasion, or some sliced asparagus spears, (dumped in the pasta pot for the last couple of minutes).
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