Adventures in Cooking: FETTUCCINI ALFREDO

OH

MY

GOD!


No, really.


For those of you who don’t know… I have been staying with Dad for the last month while we repair my house after the big flood on 12th January.

It was my turn to cook tonight, but Dad and his GF are next door at the neighbours 60th Birthday Party, so I had to fend for myself.

I had been thinking about pasta all week, and had my eye on a nice little Fettuccini Alfredo Recipe that I thought could be worth a try.

Never had Fettuccini Alfredo before, and its always worth trying something new.

For those of you who haven’t been following this little cooking blog of mine, I recently bought a Napoli Brand Pasta Maker

I am now so good at making pasta that I wont buy it from the shops anymore. It is cheaper easier and faster to make it by hand.

And of course… it tastes soooo-ho-ho-hooooooo much better than shop-bought pasta.

I like to put some parsley or other herbs into the flour when I make the pasta dough. It adds an extra element of flavour and texture, and of course there is the added visual element too!.


PICTURE COURTESY OF THE WWW

As much as I only use fresh ingredients, for this purpose – this stuff is just perfect!

Did I mention how excellent I am at making pasta dough?

My first attempt failed.

It was more like “pasta, D’oh!”

It was too dry and wouldn’t go through the pasta machine. Its a humidity thing. Its a very hot day and we have the fans on, so the air is very dry, and that effects the pasta… it wasn’t my fault. Honest… I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD.

Sorry, I came over all Joliet Jake there for a moment!

You actually have to adjust your mixture for the prevailing weather conditions.

So I made another batch and used a bit less flour, but stuck to the basic rule of

  1. 1 cup of flour to 1 egg

It should be slightly damp-looking and almost stick to your hand, but not crumbling.

It should have the texture of new window-putty.

Break off a bit of dough, lightly roll it in some flour, roll it into a ball and flatten it with your hand.

Then feed it through the Pasta Machine. I wont go into details here about doing that, except to say it is a lot of fun and a very satisfying thing to do. But you can watch a Youtube video if you want…

When all the pasta [fettuccini] is made, I toss it in a bit of flour, or even better – cornflour [it wont make your water gluggy when you are cooking the pasta, normal flour tends to thicken your water] – this just stops it from sticking together while you prepare the rest of the dish.

But the important bit, the Alfredo Sauce:

  1. Garlic – to taste, but I like about 3-4 fat cloves [hey, its Italian food – there is no such thing as “too much Garlic”!]
  2. Ground Nutmeg [about a teaspoon]
  3. Cream [250ml]
  4. Mascarpone [100gms]
  5. Parmesan Cheese [100gms] or you could even use Pecorino, which would be my preference.


PICTURE COURTESY OF THE WWW


PICTURE COURTESY OF THE WWW

I have heard many times that a proper Italian dish should have no more than three key ingredients. That simplicity is the key, and this dish certainly supports that concept.

  1. I grated the Garlic on a Microplane because I wanted a stronger Garlic flavour.
  2. Add 40gms [a big lump] of Butter to the fry pan and heat.
  3. Add Garlic and Nutmeg [about a pinch, but I added more because it wasn’t fresh nutmeg and the flavours tend to be milder in pre-ground spices]
  4. Stir until fragrant.
  1. Reduce heat to half.
  1. Add Cream
  2. Add Mascarpone
  3. Stir
  1. Add Parmesan or Pecorino
  2. Stir until all the cheese has combined with the cream.
  1. Add Nutmeg to taste… but it should be fairly subtle – not a major feature of the flavour. Nutmeg is more of an aromatic spice than a flavour-based spice, so don’t go heavy-handed with it. It is more about the smell.
  1. Cook your pasta in saaaaa-a-a-a-aaalty water [about 3-4minutes], drain and pour it into a large bowl.

I have heard it said that your cooking water should be “as salty as the Mediterranean Ocean”, so you can throw in a fair whack of salt. [add the salt after the water has boiled, and then bring the water back to the boil. Pre-salted water takes a lot longer to boil!]

Don’t worry about the whole “too much salt causes car accidents” or whatever, the pasta will only be in there for a few minutes. Besides, salt is the least of your concerns, have seen how much dairy fat is in this dish!?

  1. Add the Alfredo Sauce and stir it through.
  1. Plate-up and recognise that you are a GOD in the kitchen.

This dish is sooooo amazingly yummy, that if Jesus was Italian – THIS is what he would have had at the Last Supper!


PICTURE COURTESY OF THE WWW

of course, I am completely lactose / dairy intolerant… this is gonna hit me like a tonne of bricks in about 30 minutes…


CHECK OUT MORE OF MY ADVENTURES IN COOKING…

 

  1. MUSHROOM SOUP SO GOOD – IT SHOULD GET ME LAID!
  2. FETTUCCINI ALFREDO
  3. PERFECT POACHED EGGS
  4. SWEET PORK & RICE
  5. WATERMELON? … WHO KNEW IT COULD TASTE THIS GOOD?
  6. DUCK SOUP FOR THE SOUL
  7. JUMBLE SALES!
  8. I MADE SANGRIA
  9. PIZZA FROM CASA DE BYRON
  10. MY FETTUCINE CARBONARA

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