Healthy fettuccine alfredo with shrimp & mushrooms
After I made a healthier version of classic alfredo sauce 2 months ago, I had dreams at night (or you can call them nightmares) of how I was making different variations of that recipe, torturing myself with endless combinations of ingredients I could combine with that amazing cauliflower-based alfredo sauce. And, what do you think, did I come up with a super original recipe after all those sleepless nights? Not at all. I came up with something pretty basic but yet so delicious in its simplicity that I definitely call it another win in a “healthy food department”!
Because shrimp and sauteed mushrooms usually go so well with the original alfredo sauce, I just combined all these wonderful ingredients together in one healthy dish: shrimp, mushrooms, sweet peas, pasta – all coated in a creamy cauliflower sauce! Yum! Definitely worth trying!
This shrimp fettuccine alfredo is rich only in flavor, but not at all in calories! In fact, a whole pan of this sauce uses only 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, everything else being replaced by very finely mashed cauliflower, mixed with sauteed shallots and garlic for more flavor and fragrance.
Loaded with mushroom flavor, this dish will leave you fully satisfied, yet you will not feel like you just ate a heavy meal loaded with heavy cream or cheese.
Please enjoy this healthier version of alfredo sauce, made even better by adding shrimp, sauteed mushrooms, and sweet peas!
Healthy fettuccine alfredo with cauliflower sauce, shrimp, mushrooms, and sweet peas
Total time: 1 hour
- 1 big cauliflower floret
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 shallots, minced, or 2 tablespoons of minced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup (up to 1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano) or more
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups fresh shelled peas (or use frozen)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 pound dried fettuccine pasta
- fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
Ingredients for shrimp:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 22 (count) peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Makes 6 servings.
This cauliflower sauce reheats beautifully, so feel free to refrigerate the leftovers and reheat them later.
1) Clean the cauliflower head from green leaves, and chop it into reasonably large but manageable pieces. Place it in the big sauce pan with water, bring to boil and boil for 30-40 minutes until cauliflower is really soft. Remove from heat and drain cauliflower from water. Do reserve some cooking water.
2) Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot (or 2 tablespoons of minced regular onion) and minced garlic and saute until tender. Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and bring to a boil. Cook just for a minute, stirring, until cheese melts. Remove from the heat.
3) In a food processor, combine cauliflower from step 1 and creamy sauce from step 2. Process really well, until a very creamy sauce forms. Feel free to add more heavy cream or cooking water (using 1/4 measuring cup) from step 1 to thin the sauce if it is too thick. Transfer sauce into a large sauce pan and keep it warm on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper, and nutmeg, to taste.
4) In a separate skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms until soft and browned. Season with salt and pepper.
5) Cook the peas in boiling water for about 5 minutes, or according to instructions if using frozen peas.
6) Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the fettuccine in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
7) Combine the cauliflower sauce (from step 3), cooked shelled peas (from step 4), and pasta cooked al dente (from step 5). Toss to combine thoroughly – over medium heat. Stir the sauce constantly. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
To prepare shrimp:
1) Rinse the shrimp.
2) Mix salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, cumin, and chili powder in a medium size bowl. Add shrimp to the bowl with spices and mix and toss to coat shrimp with spices.
3) Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on high heat. Add shrimp, coated with spices, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until shrimp becomes red in color on each side. Remove pan from heat.
4) Add cooked shrimp to fettuccine alfredo.
Cauliflower sauce recipe is inspired by Pinch of Yum.