Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alfredo Sauce for Fettuccine

My mom Paula would make Fettuccine Alfredo a couple of times a year. She always said you needed time and patience to make this sauce and, quite frankly, my mother had very little of either. But when she did make it, it was delicious! She made it with three cheeses and, of course, she did not write anything down. I remembered two of the cheeses, but was at a loss on the third so I decided to call my close friend Maria Parlato DeVico. Her family owns Villa Amalfi in Cliffside Park and both sides of her family are known for their cooking. Her father Nino helped me figure out the mystery cheese and gave me some helpful tips. So this recipe is one part Paula, one part Jennifer and one part Nino. — Jennifer

Helpful tips:
1. Alfredo is a cheese sauce, so the cheese should stand out. Don't use too much Half & Half or whole cream because it will taste milky. You want it to taste cheesy!

2. Timing is everything with this sauce. It has to be served right away, so you’ll have to time the cooking of the pasta with the completion of your sauce. Check the cooking time on the fettuccine box so you can plan accordingly.

3.  Patience, patience, patience. You cannot walk away from this sauce; it needs your attention! You have to continuously stir the cheese, add the Half & Half, and build this sauce. If you rush it, it will burn.

The three cheeses:
2 cups Pecorino Romano
2 cups Asiago
2 cups Parmesan

2 cups Half & Half or whole cream
½ stick of salted butter
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 leaves of basil to shred; extra leaves for topping
1 lemon for its zest
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Boil water for fettuccine
Shred the cheese in a food processor (shred the basil leaves with the Asiago cheese).

Coat the bottom of the pan with the butter. When melted, slowly add some of the cheese and some Half & Half. When the cheese is melted, add more cheese and more Half & Half.
Continuously stir the sauce to help with melting.
Add the garlic as you build the sauce.
The sauce should be a thick, rich consistency with no lumps. (If you find lumps, sparingly add more Half & Half.)
Finally, add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.

When the sauce is the right consistency and the pasta is ready, combine in the pan. Top with fresh pepper and basil leaves. Serve right away!

No comments:

Post a Comment