Monday, April 22, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo

As a kid, at home we mostly ate Korean food with the occasional exception of hamburgers (which we still ate with rice) and pasta. We'd often make fettuccine alfredo using the canned sauce, which tastes great until you compare it to the real stuff.

Ingredients [serves 2 if eaten as a meal, serves 4 if eaten as a side dish]:
½ lb. fettuccine (½ a box)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup butter (½ stick)
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
optional: chopped fresh parsley

Start by boiling a huge pot of water.

Add in a teaspoon of salt and add in the pasta. 1 teaspoon of salt is less than I'd usually add to my pasta water but we'll be using some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce so you don't want it to be overly salty. Reserve about a cup of pasta water.
While the pasta cooks, add butter and cream to a saucepan and place over medium high heat until the butter melts and the cream starts scalding.
Also while the pasta cooks, chop up a bit of fresh parsley, if you like. Basil would also be amazing.
Drain the pasta once it's cooked al dente.
In a large bowl, add in the cheese and the cream and butter mixture. Then plop in the noodles and toss everything together with tongs. The sauce will probably be quite thick so add in a little bit of the reserved pasta water. Start with about 1/4 cup and then add in a tablespoon or so until your desired consistency is reached. I like the sauce to be thin enough to make the noodles slippery (instead of sticky) but thick enough to adhere to the noodles (instead of dripping off).
Once the sauce is the right consistency add in plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Toss again and then top with a little fresh parsley for garnish. If you've invited guests to dine with you, tossing the pasta in front of them is quite a show and you'll be sure to impress them. Also, if you're trying to eat more vegetables, you could certainly add in some blanched peas or broccoli or green beans - any vegetable that tastes good with a creamy cheese sauce - and just toss them into the pasta.
I decided to serve my pasta as a side dish so I made some tilapia as my main dish. Just rubbed with a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, covered with lemon slices, and baked.
I love tilapia. It's a great neutral non-fishy tasting fish. And by neutral, I mean it takes on other flavors well so you can season it with almost anything, use it in curries, bread it - it's super versatile.
I also made a lovely salad to eat with the meal. I just chopped up some baby bell peppers, added some pepperoncini peppers, some parsley, and a tiny bit of Newman's Own Lite Caesar dressing, which I've mentioned before is a great dupe for the Olive Garden salad dressing (which is delicious).
Plate up the pasta by grabbing a bit with your tongs and then swirling it onto the dish (instead of just plopping it down). It looks much nicer this way. And finish the pasta with a little extra parsley on top for garnish.
Doesn't this look good?
Tastes good too.
Here's the recipe page:

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