The brisk autumn air is rapidly turning into cold harsh winds. The windows are shaking. Snow, if you’re lucky, might start falling. The leaves have all fallen from the trees and have completely covered the streets and yards. We’re filled with turkey and stuffing; happy that another Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. It’s hard to believe that gargantuan feast is now just a distant tasty memory, but we can’seem to wait for next year. Pumpkins are now a thing of the past. Deals have been made on a certain Friday, in preparation for the next holiday. Lights are being hung. Stockings are being flung. Everywhere you turn, the holidays have taken over. All around you, Christmas trees are being put up with all the same finesse, love and excitement that they are each year. You can’t seem to escape it. The air is filled, drenched, dripping with the aroma and warmth of the holidays. School is slowly coming to an end. Another successful, but stressful semester under your belt. Those times spent with family, friends, and lovers await. Laughing, opening gifts, drinking wine, listening to holiday tunes 24/7, but most importantly, eating. Yes eating. Autumn and winter are all about eating.
Thankful that swimsuit season is over, you pull out those coats, jackets and sweaters, and put away the skimpy sorts and bathing suits. A full season of comfy and cozy lies ahead, so sit back and relax. Enjoy the ride. You don’t have to worry so much about what you eat. That’s what January through May is all about. It’s the holidays; they only come at us but once a year. Why not live and enjoy life? You only get one shot. How will you be spending it? Worrying about what you eat and counting calories? Nope, no thank you. Not for me. I’ll be spending it curled up in front of the fire, enjoying big bowls of pasta in creamy sauces. Stews and soups topped with cheese and served with bread. Dunking cookies into steaming vats of hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Lots and lots of cinnamon. Gobbling pounds and pounds of brittle, and chocolate. Shaking presents under the tree. Waiting for santa to come. And most importantly, enjoying the company of my family, because without them, I’d be lost.
This post goes out to a new reader, you know who you are, who contacted me and requested a Fettucinni Alfredo post. Well, here it is; Your wish is my command. Of course, now you have to make it and invite me over for some.
How shall we start?
First thing’s first, fill up a big pot with cold water.
And since a watched pot never boils, put a lid on it. Cause if you like it to boil then you shoulda put a lid on it…if you like it to boil then you shoulda put a lid a on it, a lid on it…..
Okay, that’s out of my system now.
Bring it up to a boil. Forget about it, for now.
As we wait for the water to boil, let’s start on the Alfredo sauce.
Shallots, shallots, who has the shallots?
Okay, so it’s one shallot. Peel it up.
We’re going to tackle this shallot by mincing it. Which just means to chop it really finely.
Make tiny slices across each half.
Then make a slice across in the other direction.
And now, you go back in the first direction, making tiny chops.
And PRESTO….there you go.
A minced shallot.
Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here all day.
Let’s chop up some garlic.
Peel a few cloves of garlic and give it a chop.
Around the same size as the shallots, so they cook at the same time.
Let’s get our sautéing on…..
Need I say more?
Butter is worth much more than gold.
Use real butter for this. Might as well go all the way. Don’t bring any of those “spread” sticks to the party! They’re not invited. Or welcomed here.
Put six tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat.
Allow the butter to melt completely, slowly, so as not to burn or brown it.
Add the minced shallots and garlic into the butter jacuzzi.
Give it a gentle stir.
Handle this precious commodity with love and tender care.
Oh Mr. Piggy Spat cooks too?!?!?……
A jack of all trades. I thought he only baked.
Add a bit of red pepper to the pot.
Allow the shallots and garlic to sauté for a few minutes until tender and translucent.
It’s shrimp time.
So I have some peeled and deveined shrimp here. About a pound and a half, but please use as much as you want.
You don’t even have to use shrimp. Not a shrimp fan? Try grilling some chicken and slicing it. Or a melody of sautéed vegetables.
Ooh maybe even a spicy sausage…….ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas.
Anyhow, tuck the shrimp into the butter jacuzzi, in a single layer.
Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the edges just start to turn pink.
Be very careful not to over cook the shrimp, it can so easily be overcooked, and no one likes rubbery shrimp. Well as far as I know, no one does.
If you like rubbery shrimp, write to me, I’d like to hear about it.
Once the edges turn pink…
Give the shrimp a flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side.
Quick! Transfer the shrimp to a plate, so that they don’t overcook.
Hurry, get them all onto the plate.
Okay, phew….we saved the shrimp.
Forget about them for a little while and lets go back to the sauce. I know it’s hard to forget about a plate of cooked shrimp….but try very hard.
Add the heavy cream to the shallots and garlic.
Add it all and lower the heat to low-medium.
Allow the heavy cream to boil, cook, reduce and thicken for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The water should be boiling by now….remember our pot of water? How could you forget?
Salt the water, this is the only chance to season the pasta, so make sure to add enough salt.
I’m using a pound of fresh fettucinni noodles. You can use dry if the market doesn’t have fresh.
**Just be aware that the fresh noodles cook a lot faster than the dry, so adjust accordingly and cook the pasta according to the package.**
Let the noodles cook, and the sauce thicken.
Meanwhile, get the last couple of ingredients ready. Yes, we’re multi-tasking, it makes cooking a lot easier!!
Thinly slice a few basil leaves.
And a chop some parsley.
And grate some parmesan cheese.
And jump on one leg.
And rub your stomach as you tap your head…..
Okay so noodles are cooked by now, you want them al dente, with a little bite to them. Not mushy.
The alfredo sauce has thickened, bubbled and reduced.
Now, using tongs or a pasta spoon, transfer the noodles to the sauce.
Let’s add a few things to this before we toss all together.
1/4 cup reserved cooking pasta liquid.
Grated Parmesan cheese.
Basil and parsley.
Salt and Pepper.
Give it a toss.
Okay, so now, grab a nice serving bowl.
Throw in the fettucinni alfredo.
Let’s grate some more cheese on top, I don’t think there is enough.
Okay now, lets sprinkle some parsley and basil on top….we have to make it look good. Why?
Because, You eat with your eyes first. I’ll keep saying it until you guys get bored of hearing it.
Okay, all done!!
Serve yourself a plate.
Ahhh look how good that looks…..so much better than something you could get from a restaurant or out of a jar.
Or worse, the frozen section….eeeekk.
Let’s do a close-up.
It’s missing something…..hmmmm
Yup some bread, why not add to the carb fest? It’s okay, I like bread, live a little.
If you need me, I’ll be climbing Mt. Carb and eating my way through it.
Hope this helps New Reader. Enjoy! Let me know how it turns out.
Shrimp Fettucinni Alfredo
This is really just a blank canvas recipe. You can omit, or swap out the shrimp for anything you’d like. Grilled chicken, sautéed vegetables, spicy sausage or be courages and throw it all in!
- 1 pound dried or fresh fettucinne
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Fresh Basil, sliced
- Crusty Bread, for eating with
Cook the fettucinne in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic and pepper flakes and saute until tender. Add the shrimp, in a single layer and allow to cook on the first side for 3-4 minutes. Or until the edges turn pink. Give them a flip and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Once cooked transfer to a platter or plate, and allow to rest while you finish the sauce. Add heavy cream to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture, half of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan, parsley, and basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy.