Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most decadent dinners I can imagine. It’s my ‘treat myself at the restaurant’ dish, my ‘rainy day’ dish, my ‘guests are coming oh my goodness what am I going to make’ dish. There’s just something about the creaminess of the sauce and the noodles, and all that cheese that makes Fettuccine a real treat. Most of the time though, it’s secretly to taste test and tweak my own recipe. It has taken me years, YEARS to create a recipe for homemade Fettuccine Alfredo that hits the right spot, that isn’t too runny or too thick, too cheesy or – God forbid – not cheesy enough, one where the sauce coats the noodles and vegetables, but doesn’t completely overwhelm them. And by jove, I think I’ve done it.
First things first, you will need a pot and a pan. Your pot is for the noodles, so go ahead and fill it with water, add salt and oil, and put it on the stove to boil.
Start chopping your veggies next. If you would like to add some protein to this recipe, I highly recommend shrimp or cubed chicken – either of those are delicious options! You’ll want to cook those first, all the way through in your frying pan. The chicken should be nice and brown on the outside.
In your pan, melt some butter, and toss your veggies in. Stir and make sure they’re all nicely coated with butter. Turn the heat up to med-high to cook them until they’re all browned and caramelized. For my example, I cooked spinach, mushrooms and onions, but really you can toss any veggies you like in here.
I’m always trying to add more veggies into my diet, and this is a very easy recipe to do that with. And it has the bonus of hiding said vegetables from picky little-and-not-so-little ones! Broccoli, zucchini, asparagus and thinly cut brussel sprouts all add an incredible depth of flavour to the alfredo. If you aren’t following a Nightshade-free diet, or someone in your house isn’t, red peppers and eggplant are also fantastic options.
By now your water should be boiling, and you’ll add a box of fettuccine noodles to it.
Now comes the fun part where you get to ignore the tiny voice in your head that is complaining about calories. Well, who are you kidding, you’re making fettuccine alfredo, you knew this was coming. You’re going to add 2 cups of cream to the pan with the veggies. Stir and make sure everything is coated and not sticking to the bottom of your pan as it cooks. I like to make it all in one pan so that even the little brown bits on the bottom are all scraped up and added, bringing even more flavour into your sauce.
Then stir in ½ cup parmesan cheese.
Add your herbs and spices. This is one recipe where I would go a little easy on the garlic. By now you are well acquainted with my garlic philosophy, but this is one recipe where the secret is in the subtly of the flavours, so adding garlic takes away from all the other delicious things. You will never hear me say that again!
Now the secret. This is the magical ingredient that takes your Fettuccine Alfredo to the next level. The way the pros do it.
You’re going to add nutmeg.
Yes, the spice you add to your eggnog and pumpkin pie, you want to add to your Alfredo sauce. They key is to add a bit, but not too much, otherwise it completely overwhelms the dish and you’ll feel like you’re eating dessert instead of dinner. You just want a whisper of it, like a half a pinch. ¼ teaspoon, if that. With this one ingredient, you’ll notice the sauce will completely transform in taste. For the better.
Thicken your sauce, stirring occasionally. You want to get a nice bubble going, keep the temperature on medium high. Once it starts boiling, turn it down to simmer. If your sauce doesn’t seem to be thickening, don’t panic! It does take a few minutes to get there. If it doesn’t seem to be as thick as you want, add a tablespoon of flour and make sure it’s really mixed in, as it tends to clump together.
You’ll know your sauce is ready when it reaches a nice thick consistency, and coats your stirring spoon.
Drain your noodles, add your sauce, and voila!
Done! Heaven on a plate.
- One box of Fettuccine noodles
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
- 1 onion , diced
- 8 oz mushrooms , sliced
- 2 cups whipping cream
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- dash each of salt , pepper, garlic and oregano
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Optional additional ingredients: cubed chicken breast or shrimp , chopped broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, and/or zucchini
Boil water for pasta noodles in a pot – cook noodles as directed
Cut up onion and mushrooms
Melt butter in frying pan and add onion and mushrooms, cook until soft
Add cream, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano and nutmeg to frying pan with veggies. Stir until mixed.
Heat sauce until thickened and bubbly, stirring occasionally.
Pour over strained fettuccine noodles and serve.
This recipe was featured on The Friday Favorites