Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

Steven recently mentioned something about me making a "good kitchen purchase" (I can't remember what he was referring to) so I asked him what he thought was a "bad" purchase. I personally think all of my kitchen items are great and can't-live-without necessary. That madeleine pan? Yup, absolutely essential, how else am I going to make madeleines, right? ;) He thought for a moment, I'm not sure if he realized he was treading on thin ice here, and said, "pasta machine." I gasped, I protested, but, as much as I hate to admit it, he was right. Ever since I made bought it many months ago, I had only used it once. Instead of trying to justify why I needed a pasta machine, I made it a personal mission to make good use of it and created a long list of fresh noodle and pasta dishes I planned to make. I have to stand up for my gadgets after all, and yeah, I also do want to prove Steven wrong, but he can't complain because he reaps the delicious benefits of handmade pasta.

This was my first time making fresh pasta so I reached for my copy of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking cuz you can't go wrong with Marcella Hazan for Italian. I kept it simple and made the classic alfredo sauce. In the past I've tried to make alfredo reasonably healthy because all that cream, butter, and cheese is a little alarming. My light version was a roux, milk, and cheese, essentially a bechamel and parm (or a Mornay). It was alright, but that's all it was, a bechamel with parm, it was not alfredo sauce. Since I was going through the trouble of making my own pasta this time, I didn't hold back. This isn't something I would make everyday, but when I do choose to indulge, there's no reason to skimp right?

Mmm... cream, butter, and cheese, deeeelicious.

Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 2 - 3 as a main dish, 3 - 4 as an appetizer

Fresh Pasta
1 C flour
2 large eggs

First make a mountain of flour on your work surface, then create a crater in the center. Add your eggs in the crater. Use a fork and beat the eggs in the crater incoroporating a little bit of the flour at a time. Once the egg mixture begins to look like a batter, you can start incorporating more of the flour into the dough. After incoporporating all the flour, you will end up with a dough. If the dough is still sticky, add some more flour. Knead by pushing with the heel of your palm, fold the dough in half, give it a half turn, and repeat the process for 8 minutes or until it feels smooth. Marcella did not specify to let the dough rest but I let the dough rest (covered) for 20ish minutes.

Cut the dough into 3 equal portions. Take one portion of the dough and press it flat, then run it through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold the dough in thirds and run the narrow end into the machine again. Repeat twice more. Do this to the remaining 2 portions of dough. Now you should have 3 portions of dough that have been passed through the widest setting 3 times each. Go up one setting, and run each portion of dough through twice, but do not fold in thirds this time, just run it straight through twice. Repeat with the two other pieces of dough. Go up one setting, and repeat again. My machine has 7 settings and I stopped on setting #3 for fettuccine because I want my noodles a little on the thicker side. After running the pasta through the #3 setting twice more, run it through the fettuccine cutter (the wider cutter). Separate any noodles that did not get cut all the way through. Lightly toss the noodles in some flour.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt the water, then add the pasta. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce if necessary.

Alfredo Sauce (enough to dress the pasta made from the above recipe)
1/2 C heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 C grated parmigiano-reggiano + additional if needed at table
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Simmer the cream, butter, and nutmeg in a saucepan over low heat until it has thickened somewhat, about 5 minutes.

Toss the pasta in the cream, add the grated cheese and toss until evenly distributed. If the sauce is too thin, add a little of the pasta water. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste, add additional cheese on top at the table.

16 comments:

Veron said...

I just had to laugh because I so identify with you ...trying to justify all the kitchen gadgets that I have. But the pasta attachments for the kitchen aid was totally the hubby's idea and we've only used it once. Your fettuccine alfredo looks absolutely divine!

Kitt said...

Now see, I've been trying to justify not having a pasta machine, but you're making that difficult!

Looks fabulous.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amy, there's nothing like homemade pasta! This looks absolutely mouthwatering. Yum!

Oh, and tell Steven there's no such thing as bad kitchen purchase. ;)

michelle @ the smackdown said...

must. purchase. pasta attachment. for KA mixer.

my husband can't complain, cuz he fills the pantry with all his homebrewing crap.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

This looks amazingly good. You've reminded me to get out my pasta machine and use it more.

Peabody said...

Nothing clogs my arteries, yet pleases my tummy like Alfredo sauce. Yum. Looks great.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Well, I have to admit that I've used my pasta machine only a few times in the nearly 10 years I've owned it. But when I tried to put it in a yard sale, my husband said we should keep it! So I guess there really is no such thing as a bad kitchen purchase!

Christine said...

The pasta machine --- yes, a good purchase indeed. Yet, no one can say a word once they try homemade noodles, right? Kudos to you for making your own pasta.

Amy said...

Veron,
We have a relatively small kitchen so I try to limit the things I buy but darn it, it's difficult! :) Cookbooks are the same way! I wish I had the KA attachment, my hand crank machine seems to require 3 hands! :)

Kitt,
I bought mine for only $15, so there's no reason not to buy one. ;)

Patricia,
So true, I'll be sure to tell Steven that. :)

Michelle,
Ahaha, the bf has video games, I have my kitchen toys. It's only fair right?

Lynn,
Homemade pasta is such a treat, especially homemade alfredo... yum.

Peabody,
Couldn't have said it better myself, it's so worth it though. Mmmmmmm...

Lydia,
I think your hubby has the right idea, you never know when the craving for homemade pasta will strike. ;)

Christine,
You bet! Steven was amazed when i finally did use it. He was eating it and kept saying "wow how cool is it that you made your own noodle!"

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I've debated so many times about buying a pasta machine but just couldn't justify buying yet another gadget that I know I won't use more than a few times. But ooooh, I can't believe you made your own noodles! And I totally agree about indulging in the cream and butter. I only make fettucine alfredo once a year or so, so might as well go all the way! :)

Helen said...

Ha ha that's funny! I used to feel the same way about my pasta machine, I used it maybe twice a year. The, the last time I used it, the damn thing broke on me and now I feel lost without it! Homemade pasta is worth it in my opinion although I know a lot of people disagree.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I have pasta machine that I've used twice in something like 8 years, so don't feel bad. Good on you for inspiring us to pull out our dusty pasta machines and give them another go!

Katy said...

Cooking Light this month has a feature on homemade pasta, and how to make it without (!) a machine. I'm hoping to give their method a try, and if I fail, then a pasta maker is going on our wedding registry list!!!

Rachael said...

And you can use that machine to make crackers too! And long ribbons of chocolate (or so I hear)

~Amber~ said...

I made this last night and it was amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

~Amber~ said...

I made this last night and it was amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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