16 August 2009

First Facelift: Rattlesnake Pasta

One of my favorite dishes that I used to get frequently in college was the Rattlesnake Pasta from Pizzeria UNO. I'd happily eat one of these (as would my boyfriend) and we'd split a dessert afterwards.


Mind you, this is the pasta only: no breadstick! Also, don't forget that the one plate is two servings, so double all of those values!

It's time for a facelift!

12 ounces chicken breast
8 ounces Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Penne
2 cups baby spinach
.25 cup Philadelphia One-Third Less Fat Cream Cheese
.25 cup fat free sour cream
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
.5 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend


Start cooking the pasta.

Cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and spice it up with Mrs. Dash, pepper, and garlic powder.

Cook the chicken in olive oil and minced garlic.

Slice up your jalapeno pepper after removing ALL of the seeds AND the white flesh!

Put the peppers in a medium-heated saucepan with olive oil and minced garlic.

Add the spinach and cook it...

...until it completely wilts, like this.

Add all of the creamy ingredients (milk, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese), pepper, and garlic powder and stir until creamy.

Add the chicken.

Add the cooked and drained pasta.




296 fewer Calories (-45%)
29g less fat (-77%)
12g less saturated fat (-84%)
41mg less cholesterol (-41)
5g more fiber (+153%)
2g more protein (+7%)
904mg less sodium (-84%)

And, in my opinion, it was pretty delicious! It was very, very filling and was the perfect portion size. The spices were great especially since I didn't use any added salt. (You could add salt if you feel the need, but in my opinion the cheeses add enough sodium.)

You can find the full recipe here!

This is just the first facelift of many. Please, remember to e-mail FastFoodFacelift@gmail.com or leave a comment with some dishes you would like to see have a facelift!


  1. WOW!!!!!!!!!! That looks YUMMMMMMMM-O

    I am copying this recipe to make for tomorrows dinner!

    Thank you(:

  2. Looks awesome! I am totally going to have to try this out.

    Best dish at Uno's

  3. Jecka,

    You're onto something here. You tell a good story and the pictures make making the dish very easy and accessible to people who don't cook well or very much.

    You mission for taking "bad" things out of fast food is laudable, but misguided. Cutting back on calories is not as critical as cutting back on carbohydrates in terms. This is true whether you're trying to improve health or lose weight.

    I linked to you from Spark People which still believes in that eating fewer calories than you expend will result in weight loss. This doesn't work.

    I have been urging my family and friends to watch Fat Head (the movie) and to read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. However, I found a lecture that Taubes did at Dartmouth and think that this is the good (free) starting point for getting your mind around what "healthy eating" really is. http://www.dhslides.org/mgr/mgr060509f/f.htm

    Fat and saturated fat aren't the problems. Carbohydrates are. Getting rid of the bread is Step 1.

    Don't stop writing, blogging or searching for a better way. Just don't focus only on sodium and fat. There's more to the story.