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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fettucine Alfredo (the easy way)

I have a deep and heartfelt love for fettuccine alfredo.  It is my comfort food; the rich, creamy parmesan and noodles....mmmm.  I used to buy a jar of alfredo, boil some noodles and call it a day, but then one day I searched for a recipe online and discovered it was easy to make. After a few changes and additions I have now deemed it perfect. Perfect in my eyes or mouth rather, I doubt Food Network is going to be banging down my door to get my recipe but it works for me.  Anyway, it is a pretty simple recipe using only a few ingredients, they key ingredient being heavy whipping cream.  Some people will say that is taking the quick or easy way out, those people have obviously never had to get 2 kids to soccer practice at 2 different fields, finish homework and get dinner on the table.

Here's what you need:
- 1/2 - 3/4 a cup of heavy whipping cream depending on how large your family is
- 1 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, grated. If you have a store where you can get fancy cheese great, if not the $3 kind from Wal-Mart tastes alright to me.
- noodles, we prefer whole wheat linguine. Fettuccine is a bit too thick for my munchkins
- a pinch of oregano, basil and fresh ground pepper (from the McCormick grinder, no fancy pepper grinder here)
- Chicken, shrimp, broccoli are all optional, we usually go with chicken. I fry it in a little olive oil and a dash of spices.

Boil your pasta preference to al dente. Shortly after you start the noodles pour the cream into a skillet, add the spices and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer for a bit (a bit = about 10-12 minutes just for future reference).

Add about 3/4 of the parmesan cheese to  large serving bowl, mine resides atop our fridge housing random junk and must be rinsed before use.  Add in the cream mix and give these two a minute to get acquainted.  Don't stir or toss, or force their union in any way, just let them take their time to mix for a minute.  It'll look like this:

Can you smell that yummy goodness? Now, add in your hot, drained pasta.  Use tongs and toss everything together.  If you love cheese more than your children like me add more cheese on top.  Ok, maybe not more than my kids but cheese certainly doesn't backtalk or leave a dirty room for me to clean.

I serve mine with a side of chicken on the side because I have issues with my food touching.  You can get crazy and throw your chicken or shrimp right on in there, just not in my presence...seriously, I may gag.

Dinner is served:

Budget Breakdown:
Heavy Whipping Cream - $1.12
Parmesan Cheese - $1.50 ($3 a block but I only use half)
Linguine Noodles - $0.50 (I recently stocked up when I had a coupon)
Chicken - $1.20 (using 2/3 pounds chicken bought at $1.78 per pound)
= $4.32
or $1.08 per serving which is a little high for us but we only have this about twice a month

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