We're in "clean out the freezer" mode. We need to get it organized and clear out some space - we should have some new beef arriving (grass-fed Shorthorn beef from Dad) in January. I try to minimize the amount of food I waste (although I still have room for improvement), so I end up shoving lots of stuff in the freezer. Over-ripe bananas, for example. I made spelt banana muffins (the recipe was from the VitaSpelt bag - good but nothing special), which helped clear out 3 bananas. However, I froze half the muffins to have on hand for breakfast when I'm in a hurry. 3 bananas out = 10 muffins in . . .
Tonight I made "True Fettuccine Alfredo" because I had fresh pasta and cream on the verge of expiration. I also baked a thin crust spinach and garlic frozen pizza and cut it into breadstick-like slices to serve with the pasta (and I can take the leftovers to work tomorrow). One frozen pizza out of the way, one or two to go.
"True Fettuccine Alfredo" comes from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper cookbook. It is an excellent recipe, both easy and delicious. How to Eat Supper would be a good book for almost any cook you know. It has a nice mix of recipes, from basic to exotic, but none are overly complicated. It also has good stories, poems, quotes, and little bits of useful information. Since I got it this summer, it has become one of my go-to cookbooks - and I've given a copy to my mom and my dad as well. Anyway, on to the recipe:
The True Fettuccine Alfredo
5 quarts salted water
1 pound fettuccine (I like the "fresh" kind from the refrigerated section; the recipe actually calls for imported)
6 tbsp. butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
(My addition: a few tablespoons (chopped) of whatever fresh herbs are available - tonight I used thyme, rosemary, and Italian parsley)
(You could also add cooked chicken breast or shrimp)
1. Bring pot of salted water to a boil, drop in the pasta and boil it, stirring often, for approximately 7 minutes or until the pasts is slightly undercooked. Immediately drain it into a colander.
2. As soon as the pasta goes in the water, put the butter in a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan/skillet and place it over medium-low heat. Melt the butter, taking care not to let it brown. Set the pan aside until the pasta is done.
3. Once the pasta is draining, reheat the butter over medium-high heat. Turn the pasta and cream into the saute pan, and toss to thoroughly coat the noodles. Continue to toss the pasta for 2-3 minutes, so the cream can permeate the pasta. There should be very little cream in the pan.
4. Finally toss in the cheese, starting with 1 1/2 cups and adding more to taste. Toss for 20 seconds. Season the pasta to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Add fresh herbs. Serve immediately. - Adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
P.S. If you get the book, you can read about the history of fettuccine alfredo and find out why this version is "The True Fettuccine Alfredo."