Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Knock Off Recipe: Pastini's Fusilli Alla Roma

Copycat Fusilli Alla Roma Recipe from Pastini's
It never fails that when roaming aimlessly through the Mill District trying to decide where to eat, that despite my desire to say no to cream and carbs, I always end up at Pastini's ordering the dreaded fat and carb-filled favorite: Fusilli alla Roma!

I can't help it!  I just love that darn dish! So creamy, garlicky, and satisfying, I just can't say no. But I've always wished for a way to infuse it with slightly less calories.

Now, if you ever frequent Pastini's, know this: any of their dishes can be substituted for wheat pasta, broccolini, or spinach instead of their white pasta.  And it's still delicious without! But I may have found a way to satisfy my Fusilli alla Roma cravings with even fewer calories...because...I have created a knock-off Fusilli alla Roma!

I have to say I even surprised myself in figuring out this recipe, and, by substituting some of the fat with Fat Free Half and Half and Skim Milk, and pairing it with Spaghetti Squash, Zucchini, Spinach, or Broccolini, I believe I have cut out a great deal of fat and carbs. Hey now! I'm not saying it's good for you...just better for you. Oh, and it's delicious so it's worth it! Tastes nearly exactly the same as the real deal!

Knock-Off Pastini's Fusilli alla Roma Recipe

Effort Meter (1 to 5): 2.5 

Delicious Meter (1 to 5): 5

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a thick shaped pasta (like Fusilli) or for a more healthy option, blanket the sauce over whole wheat pasta, broccolini, spinach, or shredded squash.

Weight Watcher POINTS - Seriously...this isn't a WW dish. But if you cut out the pasta, and put the sauce over veggies, you could probably get it somewhere in the 7-point range.


1 - 2 TBSP Roasted garlic
1 - 2 TBSP Minced, fresh garlic
1/4 Stick of real butter
3 TBSP Olive Oil
1 - 2 TBSP Flour
1/2 C Fat-free half and half
1 C Reduced Fat or Skim Milk
1/4 C Fresh basil, chopped
8-10 Pieces of frozen, pre-cooked boneless skinless grilled chicken breasts
1/2 Lb Roma tomatoes, halved
Parmesan, Salt and Pepper (to taste)


In a large saute pan over high heat, saute garlic, butter and olive oil until slightly brown. Slowly add 1-2 TBSP of all purpose flour, stirring vigorously to avoid clumping, until sauce is a well-mixed, paste-like consistency (you may have to reduce the heat to accomplish this). 

Reduce heat to Medium, and slowly stir in half and half and milk until it becomes a well-mixed, creamy sauce. Add basil, chicken, roma tomatoes, and salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until tomatoes begin to break up and sauce is tinged with a slightly pink color.

Serve immediately over a bed of pasta, broccolini, squash, or spinach and top with Parmesan.

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