Pasta Alfredo

Monday, March 14th, 2016

This was the first recipe I ever threw together without referring to a recipe. Yes, I had made similar recipes before, but all carefully following a step-by-step guide of how to do it. This was the first one where I used my own creativity instead of relying on someone else’s.

That being said, so long as you use a thick cream-based sauce, it’s hard to get Alfredo wrong.

Between how easy it is to make and my nostalgia (being a stepping-stone to greater food improv), this has become a great meal to have in my weekday arsenal. Throw in some steamed broccoli and chicken, and it becomes a balanced meal. Put it with some cod and cauliflower, and it becomes a veritable blizzard of all-white-food yumminess.

I prefer Alfredo sauce on some long noodles (yes, that’s spaghetti in my picture), but you could also use rotini or macaroni and capture the same flavour.

The best thing about this recipe? It replaces that instant-noodle stovetop/sidekick with all its high salt and preservatives, and tastes a bajillion times better (it’s the butter, isn’t it?).

Low-fat, this is not, so if you’re looking to cut back on butter and oil, skip this recipe and go for something lighter, like my Celebration Squash Soup (creamy without the dairy) or Veggie Taco Salad (low-fat and quite tasty, if you enjoy tex-mex).

PSA done! Now onto that sumptuous pasta!

Pasta Alfredo Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 servings Pasta, Linguini, Fettuccine or rotini.
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 100 grams Butter
  • 180 grams white flour
  • 3 cups milk (cream is thicker, but I never have it handy so I just use skim milk)
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley
  • Pepper to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon for mildly spicy to 1 teaspoon for spicier kick.
  • Salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspooon

Tools

  • Large pot and pasta strainer
  • Large saucepan, big enough for Alfredo sauce and the pasta
  • Cheese grater
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • Whisk – make sure it’s safe for the saucepan, especially if the pan is non-stick coated.

Directions

  1. Heat the oil and butter until the butter is melted. Add the garlic and pepper and mix through the butter. This is the base of a roux, so the butter has to be completely melted.

  2. Add the flour and whisk into the oil and butter. Don’t be too vigorous, or some of the hot oil will fly out of the pan.

  3. When the flour is evenly mixed, let the flour fry for a few minutes, making sure not to let it darken more than light golden in colour. Avoid burning the flour, so stir with the whisk occasionally.

  4. Add the milk, whisking the whole time, and make sure the flour is incorporated into the milk. From now on, stir with the wooden spoon. You’re done with the whisk..

  5. Cook the pasta while the milk is heating.

  6. Gently stir the milk with the wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom. Mix in any lumps so you avoid lumpy sauce.

  7. Strain the pasta and let sit for 2 minutes to drain all the water. We want to avoid watery pasta as this will water down the sauce.

  8. When it’s thickened up, remove the sauce from the heat and quickly stir in the cheese. Add salt to taste.

  9. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir through.

  10. Serve with a side of cheesy garlic bread.

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