Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is as much a staple in our house as macaroni and cheese.  It’s the go to meal when the cabinets are low or there’s a sudden crowd that needs feeding.  During the humid summer nights that happens more times than you'd think.

This is a working mother's dream.  It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, so after a long day at work, you can have dinner on the table in half and hour.

I always double this recipe because it’s such a favorite.  While most of the time my family doesn’t like leftovers or there aren’t enough for everyone to have the same meal.  With the fettuccine there is, but we rarely sit down and eat it as a full meal a second time.  (More on leftovers later)

After 20 years this is still my favorite pot for spaghetti and fettuccine.

I cut the sausage into small pieces.  I use cooked shrimp.  Pull the ends off and discard them.

While the fettuccine is cooking, add the other ingredients to another pot and bring them to a boil.

When the sauce is done and the fettuccine is sufficiently cooked, meld the ingredients together.  I used a large tray to display the fettuccine.

Add the Fettuccine to a large tray or plate


Then added the sauce.

Add a tossed salad and garlic bread and you've got a meal.  We always add sparkling cider in crystal goblets to give it a festive appearance and make us feel like we really are at an Italian restaurant.

Hers the secret I learned years ago for leftovers.  If I put the food in microwaveable serving size containers and set it at eye-level in the refrigerator, my family would eat it.  If any work is involved, other than sticking it in the microwave and punching a button, they wouldn’t go through the trouble.  They’d much rather grab something sweet and unhealthy.  This way I get them to eat a meal for a snack.  Not all the time, but we have heaven, let's not ask for the stars. 

By the way, the same method works for salad.  I make a huge salad, put it in a large plastic bag and set it in the refrigerator.  Since eating only involves pouring it on a plate and topping with dressing, it's within their realm of work level.

Back to the Fettuccine.  I got this recipe from (Better Homes and Gardens - Olive Garden Sauce).

                              Fettuccine Alfredo

8    ounces dried fettuccine
2    tablespoons butter
1    cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
     Grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)


Cook fettuccine according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt butter. Add cream, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and boil gently for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Drain pasta. Add pasta to hot sauce. Toss to combine. Transfer to warm serving dish. Serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, Makes 4 servings.

Chicken and Tomato Fettuccine Alfredo: Prepare as above, except stir 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken and 1/4 cup drained oil-packed snipped dried tomatoes into cream mixture before adding the Parmesan cheese; heat through. Remove from heat and stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Combine and serve as directed above.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo: Prepare as above, except stir 12 ounces cooked medium shrimp and 1 tablespoon fresh snipped basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil into cream mixture before adding the Parmesan cheese; heat through. Remove from heat and stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Combine and serve as directed above.

Couple this with a toss salad and garlic bread and you’ll be well-fed and satisfied.

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