This sauce, famous in the United States, was created in the restaurant Alfredo in Rome and known as linguine with triple butter. It is very simple, but you want to use only high-quality ingredients, including fresh pasta. This recipe is based on one I found on an Italian web site, but with major tweaks to the proportions, which were clearly insane.
- 9.5 ounces Fettuccine, fresh (see note)
- 2 tablespoons butter, fresh
- 94 grams Panna da Cucina, or 94 ml, around .4 cups (see note)
- 40 grams Parmesan cheese, (about 1.5 ounces) fresh grated
- 1 dash nutmeg, or to taste (see note)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- pepper, to taste
1. Put about 1 tablespoon of salt in 4 1/2 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. While the water boils, in a large skillet (a 12" nonstick works well) melt the butter in the cream. Cook over low heat - it should not boil. Add the 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of nutmeg. Use a heat-proof spatula to stir. Once it's all melted and hot, turn off the burner.
3. When the water is at a full boil use a ladle or heat proof measuring cup to put hot water in each serving bowl, if you are serving in bowls. Alternately, you can serve it mounded on flat plates which have been warmed in the oven.
4. Turn the heat to low under the skillet with the sauce. Add the fettuccine to the boiling water. Gently use tongs or a pasta fork to lift the strands out of the pot briefly now and then to keep them from sticking together. Cook until shy of al dente, which could be under a minute.
5. Drain the noodles and add to the pan with the panna and butter. Toss well with tongs, and remove from the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss until it's all melted. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.
6. Empty the hot water from the bowls, if using, and serve the pasta immediately.
Try adding one medium clove of minced garlic to the sauce ingredients as they warm up. That gives it a few minutes to steep while the pasta water boils.
Use different flavors of fresh fettuccine. I’ve used garlic, lemon, spinach, and every combination of those. Two sheets of lemon and one sheet of garlic is a favorite.
I've occasionally added a pretty healthy dash of nutmeg by accident. Didn't hurt it a bit, so don't be shy. Experiment to see what you like.
Why 9.5 ounces? At my local pasta shop that's as close to half a pound as they can get. Just aim for 1/4 pound per serving, and err on the high side when buying.
Alfredo is best served warm, so warming the serving dishes is recommended.
Panna da Cucina is a cooking cream sold in Italy. It is thicker than heavy cream (almost like sour cream) and has less fat. It's used in savory recipes, as opposed to the "crema", or sweet cream that is whipped as a topping or used in desserts. It can be tricky to find in the U.S.
I found that each carton contains about 188 grams of panna. So you can get 4 servings from each.
I've found a few sources in the US. If you buy in bulk the shipping isn't so bad. At Salumeria when I just checked it was $11 to ship one carton, and $12 to ship ten cartons. Shelf stable, so stock up.
Source: Recovery Dad
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