Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

I love really good Alfredo sauce... I tolerate average and I gag down anything else. I have been experimenting with the basic Alfredo sauce for a while now. This time I made it I used evaporated milk, mainly because we had some that needed to be used and I wanted to see how it would turn out. So how did it turn out? It tasted sweeter than normal Alfredo. It did not work for me. Cheese sauces should not be sweet (at least according to me), unless it is a cream cheese sauce - but that is a different subject all together.
So from my experiments with cream, half & half, and evaporated milk; go with cream. Heavy cream is best, half and half is okay, evaporated milk - just say no! As far as Parmesan goes, freshly grated produces an Alfredo sauce that is much more superior to store bought grated Parmesan. The first time I made it with freshly grated my husband noticed, and he noticed the difference when I used pre-shredded cheese again. I now only make Alfredo with freshly shredded Parmesan. Yes it makes that much of a difference! There you have it, my two secrets for Alfredo - fresh Parmesan and cream.

To start, cook 2-3 oz fettuccine noodles according to package directions.
Add salt to the water. TIP: If the water in the pan starts to boil over when cooking pasta, simply add some oil (I use canola) to the water.
I try to buy only whole grain or whole wheat noodles. I think they taste better and I feel they are healthier. I have not quite gotten ambitious enough to make my own pasta, I will probably do that someday.

While waiting for the water to boil, get the Alfredo ingredients ready. You will need:1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, sliced (or minced)
1-1/2 tsp olive oil or butter
1 Tbsp butter
I try to reduce the amount of dishes, so once the fettuccine is finished cooking, I drain it and keep it in the colander, rinse the pasta starch out of the pan and use the same pan to make the Alfredo. It is important to rinse out the starches, or everything will stick to the pan.
Saute the garlic in oil until browned over medium heat. Turn burner off, but keep the pan on the burner.
Add cream and butter. Stir until butter is melted.
Add cheese and fettuccine.
Stir to coat the noodles.
TIP: If the cheese clumps together - this is because there is too much liquid in the sauce. Drain the excess cream, turn the burner onto low and stir until the clumps go away. It usually only takes about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in about 1/8 tsp pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. It tastes better if it is stirred into the Alfredo sauce than if it is sprinkled over the pasta.

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