I adore pasta- it’s a love affair that began from the time I was old enough for table food. Being just north of 29 years old now, I have reluctantly tried to cut back on the simple starches in my diet, but sometimes a girl just needs her fill of carbs, ya know? So what it’s been only two days… let’s not worry about technicalities. Throughout my culinary adventures, I have experimented with several possibilities or shall I say, pastabilities, of creating new dishes of all sorts. But as interesting and exciting as new recipes can be, I find myself always going back to the basics.
While plain pasta is perfectly acceptable in my book, there is one ingredient that is the undisputed pasta counterpart. (You can safely guess where I’m going with this)…cheese. Of course, traditional macaroni and cheese is an obvious go-to for potlucks and busy weeknights, but if you really want to knock the socks off your family or guests and elevate your expectations of homemade pasta-cheese pairings, try your hand at Fettuccine Alfredo. It’s a fancier version of mac n’ cheese. If mac n’ cheese is the t-shirt and jeans of pasta, think of Fettuccine Alfredo as the little black dress. Not over the top- just simple. classic. perfect.
I will disclose, however, that this is not a diet-friendly recipe by any stretch of the imagination. But that’s why it is soooo rich and satisfying! You can add grilled chicken, if it makes you feel better, but it stands on its own just fine. Heavy cream. Butter. Parmesan. All the necessities for a deliciously creamy sauce. But two ingredients transform this simple sauce into a blissful bite that will leave your friends and family asking, “hmm…what is that?” For a bright, citrusy burst of flavor- fresh lemon- both the juice and the zest. The other star ingredient…nutmeg. It’s not much more than a pinch, but it’s a pinch of awesome! And nutmeg is the surprising warm and earthy spice that separates this sauce from all those other guys.
Better Than Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo
16 oz. Fettuccine
2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
Juice and Zest from Two Lemons
1 Stick Butter
2 Cups Grated Parmesan
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper, to Taste
Sprinkle of Freshly Chopped Parsley (optional)
Cook pasta in salted, boiling water, according to package directions. Zest both lemons and set zest aside. In a large skillet, stir two cups of cream and lemon juice until combined. Add the butter- cook and stir over medium heat just until the butter melts, about 3 minutes. Remove sauce from the heat. Drain the pasta, add to the cream sauce and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream and parmesan to the mixture. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Return to low heat and toss until thickened, about 1 minute. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and more parmesan- because why not?
Whether it’s for a special occasion or a lazy, late-Friday night indulgence on the couch, Fettuccine Alfredo is your main cheese. ( Get it? Cheese- instead of squeeze)…sorry, I just can’t seem to pass up on an opportunity to insert a corny pun! Enjoy!
The Humble Homemaker