Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fettuccine Alfredo

So I have made pasta before - nothing new right?  Well yes and no - I am still counting this for the 366 challenge as something I've never made before because everything in this meal was done from scratch.  

So I have to admit that I am a HUGE lover of Fettuccine Alfredo (well more so the Alfredo sauce than the actual Fettuccine - I usually opt too have cheese filled ravioli with Alfredo sauce on top ... yes I love cheese!)

In any event this week was the husband's birthday so I figured I would give him the option of what he wanted to have for supper on his birthday.  I sent him a list of the things I had been planning or thinking of making and his response was simple - pasta, with Alfredo sauce and maybe some chicken. Now I will totally admit - that I contemplated making the stuff from the box and jar - but since I had a new pasta recipe on my list I figured why not make this into something that will fit into my challenge while I'm at it.   

Fettuccine Alfredo with herb roasted Chicken
I then thought about the Alfredo sauce and that it probably wasn't too hard. OMG I was so right - the sauce has minimal ingredients by chance I had at the house in any event so I set off.  Mind you that I still have a pasta machine that I have to crank by hand (OMG just FYI - a  lot of work - I would love to get the attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer but for now I'll just keep working out my arms lol). 

Keeping in mind that I had several things on the go I made the pasta first - I haven't really let my pasta to have the chance to rest before and I wanted to try this recipe entirely as directed. After I finished the pasta and my preparation for chicken tikka to be served another night I got together my mis en place for the Alfredo Sauce, seasoned the chicken, pre-heated the oven and off I went. 

I rolled most of my pasta before starting my chicken on the stove and then went back to finishing the pasta.  I then made the sauce before I boiled the pasta since the fresh pasta doesn't take that long to cook. The end result was very delicious and made the birthday boy very happy :D  

I will also say that this was by far my favourite pasta recipe so I will likely keep it as my stand by. 

Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup heavy cream (in Canada I used 18% cream as I find that if I used whipping cream ti leaves a funny taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 cup grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
  1. Melt the butter over low heat in a medium sauce pan. Once the butter is melted add the heavy cream and mix well. 
  2. I then mashed up and added in the 2 cloves of roasted garlic (I do a whole head of garlic and leave them in my fridge as they are usually a great addition to a recipe).
  3. I then added the cheeses and mixed/whisked well until all of the cheese was melted. Most recipes only call for the parmigiano-reggiano cheese which is completely fine. However because we both love cheese so much I used both cheeses and frankly didn't actually measure them.  I just eye-balled the amount of cheese.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. I found because of the cheeses and the salted butter I used I didn't need too much salt but it definitely needed the hit of pepper. 
For the Chicken - honestly I rubbed it down well in salt and pepper, some basil and herbes de provence. I then put the chicken into a searing hot pan that had been coated in oil (I did use olive oil - bad choice as it has a low smoke point which means the oven did get a little smoky as I put the chicken in to cook through - next time I would use vegetable oil).  I turned the chicken once to get a nice sear and golden colour on both sides before putting it into the oven. 

Anne Burrel's All Purpose Pasta Dough 
1 pound all-purpose flour (honestly - I only measure flour now thanks to Alton Brown - buy a digital scale they aren't that expensive but if you don't have one about 3 3/4 cups)
4 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
2 tbsp water
  1. Measure the water and add a good large pinch of salt and stir. Set aside. Measure the flour and then place onto counter in a mound. 
  2. Make a well (hole) in the centre.  Make sure the well is large enough to accommodate all of the other wet ingredients.  Now most recipes say to crack the eggs and add them and the liquid ingredients into the well, but I find I have issues making sure my eggs are mixed properly - so I start by whisking the eggs really well in a bowl, then whisk in the oil and salt water once the eggs are thoroughly mixed.  I then pour this mixture into the well. 
  3. Starting incorporating the flour from around the edge of the well until the mixture is less liquid and more solid. I then use my hands to start mixing it all together working all the flour into a dough. 
  4. Once the dough is a fully combined mixture I start to knead - 10 minutes of picturing someone I'm not very found of seems to do the trick for kneading. Chef Anne's indicates it is important to not tear the dough but to stretch the dough. 
  5. Once kneaded wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour. 
  6. After the dough is done resting cut into quarters - start working with one quarter and keep the rest of the dough covered with plastic. I make a disk as flat as I can and then run it through the pasta maker.  Sprinkle flour over the inside and fold it into thirds - run it through again on the largest setting. Once I have the shape and size I'm going for I start to work the dough through the smaller dials. (For this one I went to the second smallest setting). 
  7. I store the long sheets on a sheet pan that has a tea towel that has been lightly sprinkled with flour. I then sprinkle flour between the lawyers of dough as I fold the dough while I work through rolling out the rest.  I also cover the entire thing with another tea towel. 
  8. Once all of the pasta is rolled I then cut into strips using the pasta maker. Next time it would have been wise to cut the long sheets into the proper length but live and learn. 
  9. Cook the pasta in well salted boiling water for about 3 minutes (starts to float).  Drain and toss with the pasta sauce. 

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