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Cream Sauce without the Cream
“Here's a formula for making a "no-cream" cream sauce to use as a healthy replacement for fat- and calorie-rich cream sauces in your favorite soups, pastas or sauces. This recipe makes a big batch, more than you'll most likely need for one recipe, so refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce to use in other recipes.”
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
⅔ cup long- or medium-grain white rice
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or "no-chicken" broth (see Tip)
1 cup dry white wine
¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper, preferably white
1Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add broth and wine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the rice is very soft and the liquid is greatly reduced, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
2Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree, in batches if necessary, until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in the pot with an immersion blender.) The consistency should be similar to a pourable sauce; add more broth or water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: To make the sauce vegetarian, we like to use chicken-flavored vegetarian broth over regular vegetable broth for its hearty, rich flavor and pale yellow color. Look for “no-chicken” broth in the natural-foods section of well-stocked supermarkets.
To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on your microwave.