Fettuccine Alfredo

Get ready for another diet-buster! We made this recipe just about a year ago for the first time and while I didn’t photograph it for blogging, I filed it away in the back of my mind as one of the best fettuccine alfredo recipes I’ve ever had.  We haven’t made it again in the last year because the three main ingredients in the sauce are heavy cream, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese – not quite a zip-up-my-skinny-jeans-friendly meal, but definitely one that deserves to pulled up from the archives on a rare occasion.  And I’m so glad we pulled this out back last week because it really is so deserving to be blogged and shared.  The sauce is just as thick and creamy as you would hope and it coats the pasta like the two were MFEO. Get the Sleepless in Seattle reference?  Yeah, this dish is definitely worthy of a good chick flick night – maybe the next one with your girlfriends?

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Fettuccine Alfredo
source: slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Pink Parsley
serves 2-3 as a main course

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 ounces fresh or dried fettuccine
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Bring 4 1/2 quarts of water to a boil, covered, in a stockpot or dutch oven.  Using a ladle, fill serving bowls with boiling water.  Set bowls aside.
  2. As water is coming to a boil, heat 1 cup of heavy cream and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and gently simmer until the mixture has reduced to about 2/3 cup, 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in half and half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and add pasta.  Cook until just shy of al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water and drain pasta.
  4. Return cream to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to low again and add the pasta, Parmesan, and nutmeg.  Toss gently with tongs to coat the pasta, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the reserved pasta water.  At this point the sauce might seem to thin, but it will thicken as it begins to cool and is served.
  5. Quickly pour out the water from the serving bowls, dry the bowls, and divide pasta and sauce among them.  Serve immediately.

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