Friday, January 27, 2017

Fettuccini Alfredo

I've been making alfredo sauce, with varying degrees of success, for a long time. In fact, right after high school, I made tortellini in an alfredo sauce and my caprese salad as an apology dinner for my mom after I used up most of the chicken she was saving for dinner when I made myself lunches earlier in the week.

While I still make the same salad, thank goodness my alfredo sauce has changed! I had never really seen alfredo sauce made, so I had a really convoluted way of making it that really only had about a 50% success rate. Luckily, I now have a better idea of what I'm doing, and so I am proud to present my fettuccini alfredo recipe.

One of my favorite things about fettuccine alfredo is how versatile it is. Adding a protein really completes the dish. I think my meatballs go really great with this recipe since they have a strong parmesan flavor that compliments this dish really well. I also like making this with spicy italian sausage or shrimp, but you can feel free to go more traditional with grilled chicken. You could even add some broccoli, cooked spinach, sundried tomatoes, or other veggies to make a complete meal.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Serves 4



1 tbsp. butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. flour
3 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. crushed red pepper flake
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
½ cup freshly grated parmesan*
1 parmesan rind (optional)**


4 qt. of water
2 tbsp. salt
1 lb. of fettuccine


Melt the butter over medium to medium low heat in a nonstick pan or skillet. Add the garlic and cook until softened and very fragrant. Whisk in the flour until all the liquid in the pan is absorbed. Lower the heat and slowly add in the heavy cream, whisking continuously until all the cream is incorporated and there are no more lumps of flour. Add the spices, cheese, and rind. Bring the whole thing up to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until your desired consistency is reached.

For the pasta, bring the 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil, add the fettuccine, and boil, covered, for about 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain thoroughly, but do not rinse. Add the noodles to the sauce and serve.

*Since the parmesan is really the key flavor here, I recommend buying a block of it and grating it at home. I understand that is out of some people's price range, so by all means, do what you must. I just ask that you take this into consideration: prepackaged grated parmesan, which is really a powder, is coated in cellulose or wood pulp to keep it from clumping, which, while convenient, does nothing to improve the texture of the finished sauce.

**If you buy a block of parmesan, chances are you will be left with the rind. Why not throw it in the sauce too? It will give a good nutty and salty flavor that you won't really get otherwise. You are going to throw it away anyway, so why not squeeze some more cheesy goodness out of it.

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