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Kitchen Scoop: Updated pasta sauce preserves the flavor, trims the fat

By Alicia Ross
Universal Uclick

In my first cookbook, Desperation Dinners, I featured an elegant, super-quick red pepper cream sauce that was a stunner of a recipe. It also was a shocker on the calorie count: With almost 500 calories and 32 grams of fat per serving, that old favorite is more than I can stomach these days, even for my favorite dinner — pasta.

The good news is that there’s intense flavor in this simple recipe, so when you replace the cream and reduce the amount of cheese just a little, the only thing you miss is the fat. The updated version has only 9 grams of fat.

Granted, the sauce is thinner than the full-fat version. But I know I can be slimmer eating this version. If you want to splurge, you can go back to whipping cream and bump up the cheese, but just know what you’re eating.

Either way, I know you’ll love the full flavor and easy preparation of this “Lighter” Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce.

Ravioli With “Lighter”

Roasted Red Pepper

Cream Sauce

1 large package (25 oz.) frozen cheese ravioli

1 jar (7 oz.) roasted sweet red peppers, drained well and chopped

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup 2 percent milk

½ cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Salt and black pepper to taste

Chopped chives, if desired

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, combine the peppers and wine in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until only about 2 tablespoons of liquid remain, 4 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully in final minute of boiling, as liquid will evaporate quickly. Remove from heat. Add milk and stir well to combine.

When ravioli is done, drain well and divide among 4 shallow pasta bowls or soup bowls. Top each serving with ½ cup sauce, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving has about 437 calories, 9 grams fat (6.4 grams saturated), 44 milligrams cholesterol, 23 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 611 milligrams sodium.

Alicia Ross is the co-author of three cookbooks. Contact her c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, email, or visit


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