August 08, 2013

Improving a jar of Alfredo Sauce - Pasta Alfredo with Shrimp or Chicken options

I have always made my pasta alfredo from scratch, simply because it's how I learned, how I've always made it and it's so easy and quick there was no reason to stray from what worked.  However, over the past 2 years, my teenage daughter has always asked I keep a jar of store bought alfredo sauce on hand, as Chicken Alfredo Pasta is one of her top three favorite dishes of all time and she likes to open a jar as compared to making it from scratch.

The only problem is that store bought alfredo sauce (even a very, very good brand name) still tastes like... store bought alfredo sauce.  So, I've taught her to at least do a little 'of this and a little of that' to bring a homemade flavor to it as well as to change it up a little bit here and there by adding or deleting certain additions.

Pasta Alfredo (plain, chicken or shrimp)

1 jar alfredo style pasta sauce
Optional additions;
  • Heavy Cream
  • Half and Half
  • Fresh, minced garlic
  • Diced red pepper
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Pea's
  • Spinach
  • Garlic Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Crumbled, cooked bacon
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken 
  • Mixed frozen seafood mixture (thawed)

While your pasta is cooking, warm a jar of pasta sauce in a saucepan on the stove.  To the jar add at least 3 additions to the store bought sauce to give it a fresher taste.  I like to add;  1 tablespoon real butter, 1/3 cup cream, 2 t fresh, minced garlic, 1/4 c fresh grated Parmesan, 1/2 c steamed fresh broccoli, a sprinkle of garlic salt, fresh black pepper, and a little bit of fresh or dried basil.

About every 3rd time we have it, I like to add about 5 strips crisp, cooked bacon, crumbled.  At the very end of the warming time, you can add cooked shrimp or chicken.  Pour over hot, drained pasta of your choice and garnish with a sprinkle of dried parsley or sprig of basil.  Serve with a green salad and garlic or French Bread.

We currently use Dreamfields Pasta (in the photo above)  as it's a lower carb option that tastes great, but you can use any pasta you wish.  Our alfredo sauce is a 3-pack of Bertolli, sold at Sam's Club stores.

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