Pizza is one thing; excellent pizza is available all over America even if some franchises are better than others. It is the sublime simplicity of pizza that makes it easy to make and sell, or just make at home. Prepared pizza crusts, for instance, are available at almost all Tucson supermarkets; combine them with prepared pizza sauce and shredded real cheese and you have the best basic pizza that money can buy.
But the food industry is taking over so many dishes that we can be under the impression that we are buying a real treat with the bonus of being ready to eat. Unfortunately for us, that is not always true.
Eat This Not That, the information website that sends me their newsletter every day, recently published their list of worst supermarket foods. Their Number Ten was Pasta Roni Fettuccine Alfredo, and I have to admit that I was surprised. I wasn't surprised because a pasta preparation using Alfredo sauce was found to be heavy on saturated fat and calories; you could see that coming. I was surprised because Fettuccine Alfredo is so easy to make that you don't even have to buy it.
If you can make a cream sauce, you can make it either with dairy products or with one of the many milk substitutes such as almond milk, soy milk or unsweetened coconut milk. Those who are dairy-intolerant, like me, are used to the flavors that they have other than dairy. My first choice to make a cream sauce would be almond milk, by the way.
But if you want to simplify down from Alfredo Sauce to a simpler pasta dish (or side dish), it could hardly be easier to make, especially if you don't want tomato sauce in place of the cream sauce. The hardest part is unquestionably to cook the pasta in boiling water according to the manufacturer's instructions; after that you are home free.
You cook the pasta; you drain the pasta; you stir in two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil per package of pasta (the best you have) and then you stir in as much grated Parmesan cheese as you like. That's it!
Another alternative with slightly more substance would be Spaghetti Carbonara, which is made by adding a raw egg and stirring so that the hot pasta cooks it. Then, after the egg come the olive oil and Parmigiano, followed by crumbled bacon bits, and you're done--this dish doesn't need tomato sauce either. Usually, though, photographs show it garnished with fresh basil (learn how to make an herb chiffonade).
Remember to give the Carbonara time to cook the raw egg because raw eggs are never recommended for consumption (with apologies to Rocky). Pasteurized raw eggs can be found in some Tucson supermarkets, particularly at Sprouts and Whole Foods.
When you are about to consume a day's worth of saturated fat and calories in one meal, you want to avoid such products as those on the Eat This Not That "Worst" list. I also urge you to visit their website and subscribe to their free newsletter. They also publish a lot of information on men's health, should you be either a man or someone who is helping a man to maintain his well-being.