Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

Is this the true alfredo sauce? I have no idea, as I have not been to Italy. (Answer is: No, a true alfredo is just butter and parm. I wanted to make something with reduced cream, though.) This is, however, amazingly decadent and delicious and is made with simple ingredients. It also kicks the pants off of any pre-made alfredo sauce.

A meal that could possibly make vegetarianism bearable (hah!).

3/4 lb. fettuccine noodles*
1 pint heavy cream
3/4 stick butter
1/3 c. grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano
1/3 c. grated Pecorino Romano
Salt for noodle water
Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Place the cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until it reduces by half (about 25 minutes). Whisk in 4-5 tablespoons cold butter, alternating with the cheese.

Boil the the noodles in well-salted water until firm al dente (10 minutes). Reserve one cup of the cooking water and drain the noodles.

In the pan that you used to cook the noodles, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the noodles and toss them over medium heat until they start to sizzle. Add ~1/2 c. of the noodle water and continue tossing until the liquid is absorbed and makes a starchy coating on the noodle. Pour in the alfredo sauce, add lots of black pepper, and toss to coat and heat through (but don't heat for too long). Eat immediately--does not reheat well. Would be very good with asparagus on the side.

*Yes, I know that only making 3/4 of a box of pasta is fiddly, but I find that a full pound is always too much. Also you could probably add entire stick of butter, so do that if you really want to stick it to the (nutritionist) man.


NoneMoreBlack said...

Cream is not necessary for "traditional" alfredo. Simply cook your pasta, and toss the noodles with an ample quantity of butter and parm, emulsified with the pasta water. At Bar la Grassa, this is done in a big bowl; a saute pan is not strictly required so long as it doesn't cool too much as you work it.

Lillian said...

So I have heard...though I wanted to make a white sauce with reduced cream. It seems the problem is one of terminology--do you know what a cream sauce would be called vs. a true Alfredo?