Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recipe ReDux Post # 29: Trenette With Tomato Tarragon Cream Makeover!!

December’s Recipe ReDux is “Grab and Book and Cook!!” To celebrate The 42nd month of Recipe ReDux, we were challenged to pick a recipe on page 42 of a cookbook and make it healthier, plus give it our special touch. One of the first books I picked up was Vegetarian Pasta Cookbook by Sarah Maxwell- something that my husband had in his collection before we met. The recipe on page 42 was perfect- Trennette with Tomato Tarragon Cream. I love cream sauces but they are so high in fat so I was determined to work on this dish to make it lower in fat and calories, but to keep it yummy. The original recipe called for a large amount of cream (1 ¼ cup) and a lot of pasta to go with. I cut the cream down to only ¼ cup and added lightly sautéed red bell pepper and vegetable broth to enhance the flavor, and blended the sauce for a smooth velvety texture. I also sub-d garlic powder for fresh garlic and used zucchini in place of the pasta which really cut the carbs and calories- but I assure you this recipe was still big on taste. (If you are not a zucchini aficionado feel free to use spaghetti squash or even pasta if you wish). The recipe came out delicious and look at the difference in calories, fat and carbs!! The original recipe is great for a splurge and this remake could be eaten more often. Hope you will try it out and take a look at all the other page 42 themed recipes made healthy by the Recipe ReDux team!!

Original Recipe: Trenette with Tomato Tarragon Cream from “Vegetarian Pasta Cookbook: A Superb Selection of Delicious and Nutritious Pasta Dishes” by Sarah Maxwell, Chartwell Books 1996.


1 lb trenette (long wavy strips)
dash of olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp chopped, fresh tarragon
½ lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ¼ cups light cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve


Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add the trenette with a dash of olive oil.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain, and return to the saucepan. Set aside, covered to keep warm. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic, tarragon, and tomatoes. Saute for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally then stir in the cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until heated through. Stir into the pasta, then serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Serving size:  ¼ of recipe Calories 620  Protein 15  g Carb 93  g Fiber 5  g Sugars 7  g Fat 20  g Saturated fat 10  g Sodium 60   mg

My Version: !!


1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
¼ cup half and half
½ cup low sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 large zucchini or 4-6 small
salt and garlic powder to taste
parmesan cheese for garnish


Coat a large pan with the olive oil, add the peppers and sauté on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until starting to soften and brown. Then add the tomatoes, chopped tarragon and ¼ cup of the broth to the pan and heat for another 5-7 minutes. Then turn off heat and set aside to cool a bit. While the tomatoes/peppers are cooling, make the zucchini strips by peeling the zucchini lengthwise. (2-3 large or 4-6 small should yield about 8 cups.) Then, carefully transfer the cooled tomato/pepper mixture from the pot into a blender. If you have a smaller blender only add one half of the mixture at a time (you can put the other half in a large bowl until ready to blend). Add the second ¼ cup of broth and the ¼ cup half and half and blend on low speed for about a minute, until a smooth consistency is reached. Put the blended mixture back in the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes on low heat. Heat the zucchini strips in a separate pan coated with 1 teaspoon olive oil for 3-5 minutes as well, until desired tenderness is reached. Add the cooked zucchini to a strainer and drain excess moisture and pat dry. Divide the zucchini noodle into 4 portions and add about ½ cup sauce to each. Add salt/garlic powder taste and garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.

Make 4 servings:

Serving size: ¼ of recipe (about 2 cups zucchini noodles with ½ cup sauce) Calories 100 Protein 2 g Carb 7 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 3 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 2.5 g Sodium 30 mg


Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen December 21, 2014 at 9:36 AM  

This sounds delicious! I, too, love cream-based tomato sauces (particularly a good vodka sauce). Have you ever tried blending super steamed cauliflower in to help cream it up? That works surprisingly well!

Marie December 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM  

Thanks for the cauliflower tip, will try it!!

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