Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fettucine Alfredo for 2.5 people

Who doesn't love fettucine alfredo? Weirdos, that's who. I love it a hell of a lot more than red sauce because I have a soft spot in my heart (and a hard part in my arteries) for creamy things. However, storebought alfredo sauce is in my experience expensive, full of strange things and WAY too salty.

Interwebs to the rescue! I make fettucine for my family based on this recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis, who I always call Giada Boobylicious for one reason alone. I make a few changes though because my family is small and there is apparently a huge amount of lemon juice in this, as in, way too much.

Here goes!

You will need:

4 T of butter
1 C of heavy cream
the juice of one lemon
grated zest of one lemon
grated nutmeg (a pinch; please use fresh)
2/3 of a box of fettucini pasta (I like Barilla. It just has a better mouth feel to me)

Heavy Saucepan that will fit all this stuff
Pot to boil water
Something to grate the lemon zest and the cheese and the nutmeg (I use a really sharp veggie peeler for the lemon and mince the **** out of it with a good knife and use the small holes on my box grater for the nutmeg and cheese
a cutting board
a knife or two
a spoon and potentially a whisk if you're feeling fancy

Get water boiling in the huge pot, making sure you don't put in so much water it will boil over. Put a lid on it.
Pour heavy cream in pan; add butter and place over medium-low heat, until butter is melted, stirring or whisking occasionally.
Add the juice of one lemon. Stir to combine. Turn off or let hang out over low heat, but keep an eye on it if you keep the heat on.
When water is boiling in pot, add a handful of salt and add the pasta, stirring for the first 30 seconds to keep the pasta from sticking together. Cook according to directions/ till al dente. Slighty on the hard side is better. Drain.
Add cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and nutmeg to the heavy cream-butter-lemon pan. Use tongs to mix the pasta in the sauce, then cover and let hang out for a few minutes; turn the heat to low if you feel like you need it to be hotter.

If you feel like this needs protein in addition to all the fat and carbs, roasted chicken goes great with this. Grilled/scampied shrimp would probably make it killer, gastronomically and literally. Add chicken to the sauce while the pasta is cooking so that it gets a change to heat through. Shrimp, I would cook alongsidethe dish, seasoning them with lemon juice, garlic powder and olive oil since reheated shrimp are nasty. Add them at the very end.
Asparagus is a nice addition, as are sun dried tomatoes. Roasted garlic would be delicious and be healthier.
Feel free to make a salad to accompany this! It would round the meal out nicely. I am just generally too lazy to ever make a salad. I know.
Use different kinds of pasta to make it more colorful. Spinach pasta is my favorite.

This recipe is great. While it takes a bit of forethought in terms of ingredients (I usually don't have heavy cream in my house), it's as easy as making a box of macaroni, quick and delicious. The lemon gives a great flavor and cuts through the richness of the cream and gives it a real freshness. Because the ingredients list is so short, get the best ingredients you can. And next time you consider reaching for the jar of carageenan laden white glop that most markets carry, please, make this.

You'll be glad you did. And if you do any variations, tell me!

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