Friday, December 11, 2009
Simple Alfredo w/ Cheesy Garlic Bread
Sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the best. Take for instance, if one is having a truly bad day and just one, just one person takes notice or even smiles in my direction... a part of my mood is instantly lifted. Simple gesture, big results? Right? That's what I think of alfredo. It's basically a simple sauce of cream and cheese, and it's one of my favorite pasta dishes to whip up!
1 package fettuccine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 & 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
2 teaspoons oregano (optional)
Start a pot of water to boil. When at a steady boil, add some salt and then add in fettuccine. I found some great noodles at a local place here in Louisville, Lotsa Pasta. They have a great variety of gourmet products, specializing in cheeses and pastas, and lots of stuff they make from scratch. Definitely a great place to get relatively inexpensive spices also! Cook noodles according to package directions for al dente, mine were in there for about 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can start your sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add in 2/3 of the minced garlic. Saute for about 1 minute. Then add in cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of cheese. Make sure your heat is low enough that the cream does not bubble or boil. If it does this, your sauce is "breaking"... and you don't want that. It's a slow and nurturing process, but just keep constantly stirring until sauce thickens a bit and cheese is melted throughout.
If you've got a helper, the cheesebread is a great job for them. Just slice a fresh italian loaf in half (I used a pretty small one since there's only the two of us) and top the slices with the remaining minced garlic. Coat each half with a light layer of butter/margarine and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Can also opt to add some oregano for a finishing touch. Bake in oven at 400 F for about 5-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want your bread. I found that 5-6 minutes gave it a nice crusty exterior and still a soft interior.
When noodles are done, drain and add into sauce mixture. Coat noodles with sauce and serve hot.
This was delicious and definitely one of those meals that's so filling it puts you to bed soon afterwards. But I think all pasta dishes do that to me, so I don't know. Give it a go! What simple things make your life better?