Some recipes designated as “skinny” will swap more-caloric ingredients for ones that are less dear, and from my testing trials, I can say it’s an approach that does not always deserve a starred rating. Now, omnivores who are intent on health-conscious eating can make peace with trade-offs in lip-smacking satisfaction, but I have yet to master the art.

Better for me to follow the path set by registered dietitian, nutritionist and author Ellie Krieger. She often blends those caloric components in judicious amounts, emphasizing other ingredients that heighten flavor.

That’s precisely what this pantry-friendly recipe is about. It calls for butter, umami-blessed cheese and creamy dairy, but not so much of each. A tumble of fresh, finely chopped herbs gives the dish its essence even as it lightens the overall effect. Sauteed garlic and the starchy cohort of pasta cooking water complete just enough of a sauce to coat a slightly thicker noodle like fettuccine.

All the good stuff, for less than 500 calories per serving.

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