Fettuccine Alfredo orange and herbs with fresh cream and baked chicken

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Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic restaurant dish that is also very easy to prepare at home. The only caveat is that he's incredibly rich, sometimes too rich. And as delicious as it is, I was wondering if I could create a lighter version that was based on herbs and citrus instead of tons of butter, cream and cheese to give it a rich flavor. And I think I did!

I based my sauce on a pasta dish from one of my favorite local restaurants. What makes it special is the hint of orange hidden in the rich Alfredo sauce. So I recreated it using spicy fresh cream and freshly squeezed orange juice and finely grated zest, along with dried Italian herbs and some fresh garlic.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl, and then add the hot, drained pasta. Let it sit for a few minutes to absorb some of the sauce, and then serve it with baked chicken and asparagus. It's not exactly a 30-minute meal, but it gathers faster than the time it takes to drive to a restaurant, wait for a table, and order from the menu. Plus, it's as good as anything you get at a restaurant, and you'll save a million calories. Approximately.

For asparagus, simply place them in the same pan as the chicken for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time and it's perfect.

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Baked chicken marinated with citrus herbs

Orange, garlic and herbs add a lot of flavor to the chicken with a touch of sweetness.

Course: main

Italian cuisine

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 approximately 2 pounds of chicken breasts

Instructions

  • Combine orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, herbs, salt, and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Turn halfway for even marinade.

  • To cook: preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place the chicken breasts on the lined baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. Remove from the pan and let sit for a few minutes to allow the juices are reabsorbed. Cut into thin slices and serve.

The resulting sauce is quite fantastic. It's amazing how a few simple ingredients can create something that tastes so good! I served it with citrus herb marinated chicken and quick roasted asparagus. It produces a lot of pasta, so you will have enough for lunch or dinner the next day.

Fettuccine of Fraiche and Cream with Orange Herbs

A pasta dish filled with a light creamy orange and herb sauce made with spicy cream.

Course: main

Italian cuisine

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces fettuccine cooked in salted water per package directions
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup of fresh cream or thick cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Whisk together the zest and juice, fresh cream, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place the hot pasta in the bowl with the sauce. Mix to cover. Let stand a few minutes so that part of the sauce is absorbed. The sauce will also thicken from the heat of the pasta. Serve hot.

  • Makes: 8 servings

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