February 7th is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day.
If youre not familiar with the richest of pasta dishes, heres the scoop, including how it came to be.
A classic Alfredo sauce is creamy, indulgent, voluptuous (indulgent or voluptuous are words one should use instead of decadent, which means something else entirely*).
Fettuccine Alfredo ranks high among comfort foods craved by many. Its one of those cream-and-butter-rich dishes one should enjoy a couple of times a yearjust dont make a habit of it.
Today is one of those days!
While Fettuccine Alfredo is rich, except for the parmesan cheese and black pepper, its not layered with flavors.
While the original recipe was meant to be bland (for Alfredos pregnant wife), you can modernize the recipe with some toppings that dont alter his concept. For example:
Chile heads can add some heat: a drizzle of Buffalo wing sauce, minced jalapeos, red pepper flakes.
You can use pasta shapes beyond the original fettuccine. In fact, if you use short cutsfarfalle, orechiette, penne, shells, etc.the sauce doesnt drip as much as it does when twirling ribbon pasta.
Tortellini Alfredo is a festive variation.
Its easy to make Fettuccine Alfredo from scratch; and if youre short on time, you can use a prepared Alfredo sauce.
This recipe, from DeLallo, adds a bit more flavor by replacing some of the heavy cream with sour cream.
Another tip: This is not a recipe for inexpensive parmesan and asiago cheeses. Cheese is a major flavor in the dish, so dont skimp.
Ingredients For 6 Servings
1. COOK the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Meanwhile
2. ADD the butter and cream to a large skillet. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the garlic, salt and pepper for one minute.
3. REMOVE from the heat and whisk in the cheeses and sour cream. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce to cover.
If the sauce is too thick, use some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out. Serve immediately.
Nick Saba, chef/founder of Terra Culinary Services, suggets Alfredo sauce as a topping for proteins.
He suggests using Alfredo to top:
Lasagna fans will enjoy this Chicken Lasagna Alfredo recipe.
*Language is not a linear: Words come into every language from a variety of sources, over many centuries. Their meanings can change or expand over time. But decadent, now used instead of the appropriate self-indulgent, means being in a state of decline or decay.
Calling rich foods decadent is not a great association. Whoever started this use, more than 20 years ago, used the word incorrectly, irresponsibly and everyone who perpetrated the error should be forced to read the dictionary.