Monday, January 15, 2007

Fresh Egg Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

Just as with the egg pasta, the alfredo sauce is beautiful because of the few ingredients it requires. Heavy cream, unsalted butter, salt, Parmesan cheese, pepper and nutmeg. The result of combining these ingredients with fresh egg pasta is divine. Serve this as an appetizer, because it's so rich, and you'll have enough for 4-6 people. If you want to make a full meal of it, better double it.

The real keys to richness and thickness are to use cream that has not been ultra-pasteurized, to use really good, fresh-grated parmesan cheese (the pre-grated stuff has stuff added that makes it lumpy and isn't fresh enough to melt properly), and to cook the pasta to al dente before adding it to the sauce and then completing the sauce and the cooking of the noodles. These tips come from The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles by Cook's Illustrated, a fabulous source for pasta and sauce recipes, hints, tips and step-by-step instructions.

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Fresh Egg Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

1 2/3 cups heavy cream, preferably not ultra-pasteurized
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Pound fresh Egg Pasta cut into tagliatelle
1 cup high-quality Parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano Reggiano)
Ground white pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

Bring four quarts of water to a boil.

Combine 1 1/3 cups cream and the butter in a pan big enough to hold both the sauce and the pasta. Heat over low until the butter is melted and the cream just begins to come to a simmer. Turn off the heat and set aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add one tablespoon of salt and add the pasta. Cook until almost al dente, drain it, and then add it to the sauce.

Add your last 1/3 cup of cream, the grated cheese, salt to taste, white pepper to taste (you can use black pepper, but the white pepper leaves the sauce white), and a pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg (which isn't necessary, but my tasters really love it).

Cook over very low heat, toss to combine ingredients, and watch carefully until the sauce is slightly thickened, a couple of minutes.

Divide among 6 warmed bowls and serve hot!

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jill said...

Alfredo and you didn't send some to me?!

Another must make recipe. That list is growing faster than I can eat and that's fast!

Thicket Dweller said...

Jill, I hear ya. It's no wonder I can't destroy this fat, huh?

jill said...

Thank you for another easy, yummy recipe! While I'm sure yours is better since you can get fresh from the cow cream and better cheese, I whipped this up tonight with cream, noodles and cheese from Stuff*Mart and everyone loved it. If you get a chance, will you share your cheese source/brand with me?

Kate said...

This tasted very good, but a little to buttery for me! I tried to find the best cheese I could I'm sure that helped. A lot of your recipes are good but a little too buttery for me. :)

Could you do a recipe for chocolate pudding? Every recipe I look for elsewhere involves some kind of a mix, and if I wanted one, I'd go to the store and buy one!