Simple Pasta Alfredo & How to Cope With Anxiety [RECIPE]

Good Morning My Friends!

Happy Saturday to you! How are you doing? Are you having a relaxing weekend? I certainly hope so πŸ™‚ . Today I want to talk about Alfredo Pasta. I specifically chose this recipe because it has roots to my childhood. So settle in with a cup of tea or coffee and get ready for story time.

When I was a child, my family used to love going to Olive Garden for special occasions. Every birthday meant hearing servers come out singing some random jingle loud enough to make all the tables around ours turn and look at us. While now as an adult I would cringe and hide under the tablecloth if someone did that to me, as a child I thought it was awesome. “There’s a whole group of waiters singing for me!” I would think, and then they would lay down an enormous platter of fettuccine alfredo. Let’s be honest: Olive Garden never got the memo on portion control, am I right?

This plate could easily fill three normal bellies or two marathoners. It was dripping in buttery, creamy sauce over a bed of fettuccine and sprinkled with a bit of chopped parsley. Oh, I was in heaven! I remember taking my spoon and lapping up the sauce until nothing was left. As a child, I guess you could say that I was pretty happy-go-lucky.

But life is a funny thing. Experiences shape and change our brain. These moments shift our thoughts to begin to react to things in a different way. What was once a girl who loved barbies and dolls, suddenly was a woman who feared going outside. Yes, as an adult, through many experiences I developed an anxiety disorder. I want to talk about what it’s like living with anxiety because it’s different than being scared of something. Imagine, if you will, waking up to a brand new day. You inhale the cool, morning air and your world seems fine. You go about your normal routine and then all of a sudden a tiny thought comes creeping in. Did you remember to check the lock on the front door? You think you did. But what if today is the day that some horrible person decides to choose your home to break into? You go check that lock again. And then you move on with your day.

You go to the store to do a bit of shopping with list in hand. Item after item you put into your cart and just as you’re about to set that jug of milk down you lock eyes with another shopper. As humans, we’re curious people and we love to look at each other. It’s completely normal to people watch as we’re out and about, but the anxiety-ridden brain doesn’t see it that way. You lock eyes and you begin to interpret their facial expression. Irrational thoughts flood your mind and you’re unable to stop them. Do I look weird? Did I do something wrong? What if I did do something wrong and they are going to call a store manager on me?! You begin to panic. You tell yourself it’s fine and to move on with your shopping but the image of their face replays over and over in your mind. You begin to sweat. Your throat squeezes a bit and you take deeper breaths. You have to pause and close your eyes. But then you worry if people will think you’re weird for taking a moment of pause in a grocery store! It becomes a vicious cycle. A couple of minutes later the fear begins to lessen and you can breathe again. You finish your shopping.

I had to get therapy over years to find ways to cope with my anxiety. To reach a point where triggers and irrational thoughts didn’t dominate my life. But to everyone out there who is still in the thick of the “storm”, you’re not alone. I completely know what you’re going through. It isn’t pretty, and often times it can feel debilitating. But it does get better. To cope, along with therapy, I began journaling. I like journaling! πŸ™‚ I began meditating with the “Breathe” app… it’s pretty awesome too. I began to open up to my friends and family and simply say, “I have anxiety, and I need your help”. There’s no easy way to crack into that conversation… but once they know, you can build a support system.

I decided to make pasta Alfredo because I’m not the same young girl who is happy-go-lucky. Instead, I’m a grown woman who now knows how to cope. As I whisked the sauce together in one hand, I wrapped my daughter in my arm with the other. My life has moved on, and my story (while dark at times) does have a happy ending. Watching my family slurp down their noodles felt like a victory to me. This sauce is light, much lighter than Olive Garden and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or running for a Tums. It’s gentle and filling. Simple and humble. Warm and inviting. Just as life should be. Stay strong my friends. ❀

Until time everyone, stay tuned for more recipes and adventures! I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do and until then, keep on cooking! πŸ™‚

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Simple Pasta Alfredo

Serves: 4

Ingredients:Β 

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked pasta (I used fettuccine)
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • A sprinkle of salt and white pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:Β 

  1. Boil the noodles until cooked al dente and set aside. Mine took about 10 minutes.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, make the sauce. Add butter into a pot and melt over medium heat. Add in the flour and stir to make a roux.
  3. Then add in the cream and whisk well to combine and thicken.
  4. Next, add in the grated Parmesan cheese and continue whisking until it’s fully melted into the sauce. About 3 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add in a sprinkle of salt and white pepper and you’re done!
  6. Mix the sauce into the pasta, divide into portions and add some chopped parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

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