This mock (or cheater’s) Alfredo sauce is not exactly bargain basement frugality, neither is it a low calorie option. However besides being quick and easy it is also much less expensive and less caloric than full fledged Alfredo-which call for a lot more butter, heavy cream, and real fresh Parmesan cheese.
Preparing a more luxurious item like this at home is a frugal alternative to eating it out. It also can alleviate some of the menu doldrums and make you feel less “deprived”.
I also find it a way to stretch out and use up a little bit of leftover meat. Personally I like to add some leftover baked fish (trout from my BIL or Salmon from a family friend) but you could also use some chicken, turkey or pork. Suddenly a half or single serving of meat that could have languished in the fridge can become a full fledged, and somewhat gourmet meal. Broccoli also makes a classy and tasty addition.
Mock Alfredo Sauce
¼ Cup Butter
8 oz Cream Cheese (lite or fat free is fine)
¾ Cup Parmesean Cheese*
½ Cup milk **
½ tsp powdered garlic
Melt everything together in a small saucepan. I find that if you cut the cream cheese up into small blocks before adding them, and use a whisk to stir it goes together better. Keep the heat on medium-you don’t want to boil it and curdle the milk (ick).
Toss over your favorite pasta and serve to the crowd. Salad and bread sticks make a nice accompaniment.
*I use the cheapo Aldi’s brand of parm cheese in a shaker. I’ve been known to shave the amount down to ½ cup, depending on how much I had in the fridge.
**Canned evaporated skim milk is a nice creamy alternative-regular milk works fine but isn’t quite as rich or creamy.