I’ve been on a cookbook kick and here’s another recipe I tried from Cooking at Home With America’s Test Kitchen (2006). The result was a silky, creamy cheese sauce that didn’t glop up. I added some chicken and asparagus to round out the dish… and it was perfect!
Another note is that time and temperature matter. The temperature of your serving bowls should be warmed (No wonder the plates at the restaurant are always hot when I order fettuccine alfredo!). According to ATK, serving the alfredo in warmed bowls helps to retain its creamy texture. Also, this dish must be served immediately because it does not hold or reheat well. Here is the recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo:
Cooking at Home With America’s Test Kitchen
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
9 ounces fresh fettuccine
( I used dried taglieattelle pasta)
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano–Reggiano, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Bring 1 cup of the heavy cream and the butter to a simmer in a 3- to 4- quart saucepan over medium heat; reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the mixture reduces to 2/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
2. While the cream reduces, bring 4 1/2 quarts water to a rolling boil. covered, in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Using a ladle or heatproof measuring cup, scoop about 1/2 cup boiling water into each serving bowl; set the bowls aside to warm. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the pot of boiling water; cook the pasta until just shy of al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, return the cream mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to low and add the pasta, Parmesan, and nutmeg to the cream mixture. Cook over low heat, tossing the pasta with tongs to combine, until the cheese is melted, the sauce coats the pasta, and the pasta is just al dente, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water; the sauce may look rather thin but will gradually thicken as the pasta is served and eaten. Working quickly, empty the serving bowls of the water; divide the pasta among the bowls, tossing the pasta to coat well with the sauce. Serve immediately.
What is Fettuccine Alfredo?
Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic Italian pasta dish consisting of fettuccine noodles tossed in a rich, creamy sauce flavored with Parmesan and black pepper. The dish was invented in the early 1900s at the Italian restaurant known as Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome, Italy. It is composed of a simple combination of butter, Parmesan, and fettuccine noodles. Despite its simple ingredients, Fettuccine Alfredo can be deceptively rich and indulgent. The dish is often served with grilled chicken, shrimp, mushrooms or other ingredients depending on the chef’s preference and the availability of ingredients. Fettuccine Alfredo can also be served with a variety of vegetables or a light salad for a more balanced and health-conscious meal.
History of Fettuccine Alfredo
Legend has it, the dish Fettuccine Alfredo was created by a young Italian chef named Alfredo di Lelio. Di Lelio created the dish in 1914 at his Roman restaurant Alfredo Alla Scrofa. He sensibly used butter, Parmesan, and heavy cream instead of a simple tomato sauce to create a pasta dish that had a very creamy and rich flavor. The original dish was served with a double helping of a half-pound of fettuccine, drowned in an unusually large quantity of cream and butter, as well as a generous sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This combination is often referred to as the “Original Alfredo”. Di Lelio popularized the dish around the world and it has since been adapted to include a variety of ingredients. In 1930, Di Lelio opened a second restaurant dedicated to his dish and continued to serve it the traditional way for another 50 years until his death in 1959.
Where to Find Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo is now a widely-available dish across the globe. Restaurants of all shapes and sizes serve this Italian classic in the traditional style or with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, or other vegetables. For those times when you don’t feel like dining out, Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple dish to make at home. Many recipes exist online with variations in ingredients and levels of complexity, with something to fit any preference and skill level. For a truly authentic Italian experience, there are pasta and sauce kits available that let you make Fettuccine Alfredo just like the Italians. Most kits come with pre-cooked pasta and a jar of Alfredo sauce. All you have to do is heat the sauce, pour it over the pasta, and top it with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Fettuccine Alfredo the same as Fettuccine Carbonara?
A: No, Fettuccine Alfredo is not the same as Fettuccine Carbonara. Fettuccine Alfredo is a pasta dish made with cream, butter, and Parmesan. Fettucine Carbonara, on the other hand, is a pasta dish made with bacon, eggs, and cheese.
Q: Can I make Fettuccine Alfredo vegetarian?
A: Yes, it is possible to make a vegetarian version of Fettuccine Alfredo. You can use vegetable broth or almond milk in place of the cream, and replace the butter with vegan butter or olive oil. For a vegan version, you can also replace the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast.
Q: Is Fettuccine Alfredo unhealthy?
A: Fettuccine Alfredo can be very rich and decadent due to its combination of butter, cream, and cheese, but it’s also possible to make healthier versions of the dish by lightening up on the ingredients. For a lighter version, you can reduce the amount of butter and cream or replace them with broth or almond milk, and you can reduce or eliminate the Parmesan cheese as well.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt plus 1 tablespoon, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces fresh fettuccine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy cream and the butter to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the mixture reduces to 2/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
Bring 4 1/2 quarts of water to a rolling boil, covered, in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Using a ladle or heatproof measuring cup, scoop about 1/2 cup of boiling water into each serving bowl and set aside to warm.
Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water; cook until just shy of al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Return the cream mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the pasta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg to the cream mixture. Cook over low heat, tossing the pasta with tongs to combine, until the cheese is melted, the sauce coats the pasta, and the pasta is just al dente, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water; the sauce may look rather thin but will thicken as the pasta is served and eaten.
Working quickly, empty the serving bowls of the water; divide the pasta among the bowls and toss the pasta to coat it well with sauce. Serve immediately.
For a restaurant-style finish, top each bowl of pasta with some of the remaining butter, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and freshly ground pepper.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Halal
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 450 kcal
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 300mg
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated Fat: 14g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11g
- Trans Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 40g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 14g
- Cholesterol: 70mg
Keywords: Fettuccine Alfredo, Italian Cuisine, Pasta Dish, , , ,