There aren't many foods sexier than Fettucine Alfredo. And there aren't many foods that are simpler to make. I am sure we could have a discussion on other sexy foods such as lobster and truffles and caviar and oysters, and let's not forget chocolate, but those sexy foods, (besides the chocolate) aren't easily served to those under the age of 18. (Though I bet my kids would have eaten them.). In our house Valentine's Day was about family. We had the red balloons, the red candles, the red flowers and always a stuffed animal. Even if Valentine's Day fell during the week I always went out of my way to make dinner special. Yes, that is how memories are created and by God, my kids will remember Valentine's Day!
Often I made pasta, because what kid doesn't like pasta? Sometimes when they got older we had steak. But I believe this Fettuccine Alfredo was often on the menu. From a cook's perspective there isn't much that is simpler to make, and from a diner's perspective it is hard to beat sensuous noodles glazed with cream and butter topped with rich, snowy flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano.
I've seen so many versions of fettuccine that are ruined by the addition of flour and or cream cheese when, jeez people, don't they realize that this is all it takes? Fettucine Alfredo does not contain garlic. It really doesn't. It doesn't contain flour and it doesn't contain cream cheese or milk. It contains cream. Heavy cream. The dieter's nemesis. The diner's delight! It contains butter, not oil or God forbid margarine. And no garlic. Please no garlic. One wants the creaminess of the sauce to delight your taste buds. The silky, rich duo of just cream and butter and cheese. It contains not much in the way of ingredients, but those simple ingredients combine to make a dish that everyone craves. It may or may not have a brief grating of nutmeg, but that is up to you.
I often served the fettuccine with steak, but that was a lot of richness. I'm happy to just have this with a salad and garlic bread. And red wine. I love this with red wine. I know most would say white, but not me. Now if I had a truffle, I would shave some on top. But I don't have a truffle so I will not. If I had some grilled shrimp, those would work well on the side. But I do not have grilled shrimp so I will just devour this quite simply noodle by noodle, and then ask for the chocolate cake. Which goes very well with red wine, too!
Happy Valentine's Day!
From: Marcella Hazan
Time to Make: About 15 minutes
1 lb of the best Italian fettuccine
1 c heavy cream
3 T butter
2/3 c freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and more for serving
4-6 grinds of freshly ground pepper
A tiny shaving of nutmeg, which is optional
Boil pasta in well salted water, according to directions. Please only cook this al dente! No mushy pasta! Drain well.
In a large pot that can accommodate all the pasta, put in 2/3 c of the cream and all the butter and simmer over medium heat for less than 1 minute, until the butter and cream have slightly thickened. Set aside. When pasta is cooked, add it to pot with butter and cream. Turn the burner to low and toss the fettuccine, coating the pasta with the sauce. Add the rest of the cream, all the cheese, 1/2 t salt, pepper and nutmeg if you want. Toss briefly and serve with more grated cheese.
More to Try:
Ziti Al Fresco
Porcine Mushroom Lasagna
Linguini with white Clam Sauce
Chocolate Lava Cake
Quick Chocolate Cake