Thursday, October 30, 2014

Giada's Alfredo Sauce

Source: Food Network
Prep time: Very easy

I've never been a huge red-sauce-on-pasta fan, and so it's not really a surprise that when I discovered as a child that people actually ate pasta with something other than spaghetti sauce, it was love at first taste. Alfredo sauces in particular have always been a favorite of mine, and they're on of the few things that I'll occasionally indulge in these days, even when it means a stomach ache later for my dairy-sensitive self. I've shared several cream sauce recipes here in the past, including my previous favorite alfredo sauce. A year or two ago, however, I discovered this unusual-but-totally-amazing alfredo sauce from Giada de Laurentiis, and there is been NO going back for the Baldwin family. If we have alfredo these days it's always this recipe, and it never disappoints. As if that's not recommendation enough in itself, it's very fast and easy to prepare and usually cooks up in much less time than it takes your pasta to boil.

Because the original recipe called for a rather odd amount of pasta, I have adjusted the proportions a little to suit a regular 1lb box of pasta instead. I often halve it for the two of us, depending on how hungry we are; it makes at least 4 generous main-dish servings. It isn't nearly so good the next day, which always breaks my heart, but a tiny drizzle of fresh cream on the reheated noodles goes a long way.

1 one-pound box of your choice of pasta
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan
The zest of your lemons, if you used fresh
Salt and pepper (the original recipe called for freshly-ground white pepper; I usually use freshly-ground whatever-I-have-on-hand)
A sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Cook the pasta in salted water until it's done according to your taste; drain and set aside. In a large skillet or in the empty pasta pot, stir all but 1/4 cup of the cream with the lemon juice to combine, then add butter and heat over medium heat just until the butter has melted. Turn heat to low, add the pasta, and toss until it's coated. Add the remaining ingredients (including reserved cream) and stir everything together over low heat until the sauce thickens a little, about one minute. Served immediately, garnished with a little more parmesan if desired. To revitalize leftovers, drizzle just a little bit of fresh cream on noodles after reheating and toss.

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