Ingredients (serves 2):
- 2 tbl butter
- 1 tbl flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5 cups milk (I use 2%, but whatever is in the fridge will do)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Dash of cayenne
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbl butter
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup bay scallops
- 2 cups rough-chopped vegetables
- 1 lemon
To start off, cook pasta according to package directions (I used penne but it's purely a personal preference--feel free to use fettuccine or whatever it is you like best ). While the pasta is cooking make the sauce and topping--each of which will take under 10 minutes.
Now, my version isn't a "true" alfredo sauce which would use more butter and heavy cream. Examples include this one from the Olive Garden (OMG, egg yolks too?) and this one from Tyler Florence at Food Network. Although for special occasions I will use heavy cream in my alfredo, for everyday cooking that's just ridiculously unhealthy. Using sugar and flour adds the sweetness and thickness you would expect from heavy cream, minus the fat and cholesterol. This sauce is really flexible and for variation try using 1/2 Parmesan and 1/2 Romano cheeses, or adding in a 1/4 tsp of fresh garlic. I've even seen variations using cream cheese but honestly, haven't tried that one yet.
While the scallops are cooking, roughly chop two cups of vegetables--just enough to make them smallish bite-sized. I used a bagged broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix but again--whatever vegetables you like will do.
As for the vegetables, when I'm trying to stay out of my kitchen I shamelessly use pre-washed, packaged (but fresh) vegetables because they're super-convenient and not having to trim them myself cuts the prep time to practically nothing (I do rinse them before using, but that's just me being OCD).
Time for assembly: toss the pasta in the alfredo sauce, add to plate, then top with the scallop/vegetable mix and serve. I personally like to squeeze a little extra fresh lemon over the top to enhance the mix of tart and creamy/cheesy. My daughter, however, prefers to top hers with an extra sprinkling of parmesan.
And there you have it--dinner in fifteen minutes. Phew!