Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo with lemon (Fettuccine alfredo con limone)

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I really am enjoying making fresh pasta...

It is not at all difficult, yet very dramatic and such a different taste from dried pasta.  thicker, more chewy.  But also when made fresh, the still clinging starchy pasta water allows the sauces to cling better to the pasta.  This allows you to serve the pasta without a great deal of sauce.  Less sauce, a balance of tastes of pasta and sauce, a balance of texture.  So completely different from what I was used to.

And of course, at my recent 5 course dinner party, while we were enjoying our antipasto of Focaccia at the bar within view of our kitchen, I was able to do the final steps of making pasta (Cutting into noodles, cooking and saucing) right in front of the guests.

It gets no more fresher nor dramatic than that.

This particular sauce has a reputation for being very heavy and loaded with calories.  Well, i have seen many dishes of this swimming in sauce.  But when researching this I found that Italians believe less is more, balanced is better and this sauce is best simply flavoring the pasta, not overwhelming it.  You want this sauce coating, but not pooling on the plate.

Like this...

OK, this assumes homemade pasta, and in the recipe I will give directions for the timing so the pasta and the sauce are ready to merge at just the right time.  I have already posted my Basic Pasta Recipe with tips,  If you are making your own pasta, take a quick look at that.  Of course this works fine with dried pasta as well.  Try a Campanile shape (kind of a corkscrew shape with a hollowed out tip) to hold the sauce better.

 Alright, Here's what I did...

Fettuccine Alfredo
with lemon
(Fettuccine alfredo con limone)

  • 1 Pound of Fresh Made Pasta (not yet cooked, but water boiling and ready)
  • 1 Medium Shallot, Minced
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk only, whisked
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Pasta Water
  • Large Pinch Salt
  • Several turns of a Pepper Grinder
Cooking Directions
  1. OK, from beginning to serve, this only takes about 5 minutes to make the sauce, add the pasta and coat. So have everything prepped and ready before starting.
  2. Have a LARGE pot of salted water boiling, ready to cook the pasta.
  3. Just before you start to cook, have all of the pasta made and cut into Fettuccine noodles.
  4. In a LARGE saute pan, Heat 1 TBS Olive Oil over medium high heat until just before the oil starts to smoke. Add the shallot and saute for 2 minutes. When the shallot just starts to turn color, turn the heat down to medium, add the cream and whisked egg yolk to the shallot and mix.
  5. Add the pasta to the boiling water now. Fresh pasta only takes about 3 minutes to cook. When it all floats, it is done.
  6. Just as the pasta finishes, add the Lemon Zest and Cheese to the creamy sauce and stir. The sauce will be thick at this stage.
  7. Pull the pasta out of the water (but do not discard all of the water). Immediately add to the sauce (you want the pasta still wet from the starchy water. It helps the sauce to coat.
  8. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup (more if needed) of the pasta water to the sauce. Continue to mix until everything is well coated.
  9. Taste, as needed, add salt and I like mine very peppery, so I always add several turns of a pepper grinder.
  10. Serve immediately, warm and ENJOY!
Again, this is NOT the Alfredo sauce that has become the Americanized standard.  Sure, creamy and cheesy tasting, but not the thick heavy sauce you may remember.  Just right for the PRIMO course, or the course served before the diner course of meat and vegetables.

Very fun and dramatic to do all of this in front of guests.  Unexpected and delicious.  The lemon addition to the cheese sauce especially adds a nice light taste.


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


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1 comment:

  1. Your pasta looks amazing - I'm so impressed that it's fresh homemade!
    Mary x