Looking for a really nice dish to impress somebody? How about Fettuccini Alfredo? This is a great recipe because you can knock out a nice fancy dinner in 30 to 45 minutes, but it tastes like you slaved for hours in the kitchen preparing it. Perfect for when in-laws are coming over, bosses, or if your spouse doesn’t read my blog, you can make it for them on a special occasion. This is also a great go to recipe if you are a single guy and want to impress a girl with how well you can cook (or vice versa).
Unfortunately for me, the Dashing Wife knows my secret about this recipe. I can’t claim I spent all day cooking and taking care of the kids. Luckily, this is one of the Dashing Family’s favorite recipes. One that has been on hiatus for over a year now. The problem is that Dashing Daughter had a dairy intolerance, which she has out-grown around a year of age. My Fettuccini Alfredo recipe is super easy and only takes about 30 minutes. However, it is loaded with fat and calories, which means it is also super tasty. While this is supposed to be a side dish, I have been known to have eat it on its own.
Here is the odd thing, we have tried Alfredo sauces at various Italian restaurants, and none compare to my recipe. I find this odd because the recipe is so easy and only has a few ingredients.
Before I go into the recipe, I should state that it is a modified version from the venerable red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens The New Cookbook (they also have the best pancake and waffle recipes in this book). The modifications really are in the amounts of the ingredients, but since I was trained that plagiarism is bad, I will give credit where credit is due.
This is a side dish, and can easily produce 8 to 12 “side dish” portions. I usually get at least two nights of larger portions for my family of three eaters (the Dashing Daughter doesn’t eat all that much). I should also note that even though the recipe is called “Fettuccini” I don’t think have ever used Fettuccini noodles for this recipe.
- 12-16 oz of noodles (Fettuccini would be the obvious choice, but I have used bow tie, spirals, rotini, egg, and other noodles– this time I used cellentani, a corkscrew macaroni pasta – basically use whatever pasta you have on hand).
- 8-16 oz of mushrooms, sliced (optional, but I really like mushrooms)
- Garlic – I used a bunch. I would probably use an entire head of fresh garlic, or two heaping spoonfuls of the jarred minced stuff. It just depends on how much you like garlic, I like a lot.
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream at room temperature (you can use light whipping cream and save some fat and calories, but why?)
- 8 oz of shredded parmesan cheese (if you use the powdered stuff in a can, a dead Italian lady ads will come back as a zombie and beat you to death with a steal rolling pin).
- ¼ cup butter or margarine (you can probably use 2 Tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, but, again, why?)
- Ground pepper – at least 1 tsp, but I usually add more.
- Dash nutmeg (WTF is a dash? Less than 1/8 tsp. I used two shakes of my seasoning jar.)
Cook the pasta according to the directions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the butter over medium heat. Once the noodles are done cooking, strain the noodles, and return the noodles to the pot. Add the mushrooms, cream, parmesan cheese, pepper, and the dash of nutmeg to the pot. Be sure to scrape out all the buttery goodness out of the mushroom pan. And mix to combine. I actually like to mix everything up before I add the cheese.
Note: if you stove is full up with other things (or you want to wash one less dish), after you drain the noodle pot, leave the noodles in the strainer, and cook the mushrooms in that pot. Once the mushrooms are done, add the noodles, and mix together. Then add the cream and cheese.
Viola! You are done. The longest part of this whole process is getting the water boiling and cooking the noodles.
I serve this with sourdough or French bread, toasted with garlic and butter (maybe some parmesan cheese – powdered is okay on the bread). Because, what goes best with noodles floating in garlic and dairy? Bread covered in garlic and dairy. I also cooked up some chicken breasts for protein and had some steamed broccoli on the side, you know, to make it “healthy.” Plus the broccoli adds color to the whiteness of everything else on the plate.
Throw some candles on the table, and you got yourself a romantic dinner. Well, it would be romantic if the kids weren’t there. Or your in-laws, or boss. But you get the idea.