The Spice Rack

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food." Join me as I explore this love with reckless abandon. Each week try a new recipe from a different region. Read a little about each recipes' history and a lot about what it took to get it from the pages of the cookbook to the dinner table.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fettuccine Alfredo

You'll have a hard time finding a better dish with which to clog your arteries than a heaping bowl of sinfully creamy fettuccine Alfredo. That said, it's one of my favorite dishes, although I must admit I don't make it that often. I found this recipe a few years ago in an old magazine that was lying around at work and I love it! I substitute Brie for the gorgonzola that the original recipe calls for, you can use whichever you prefer.

An interesting story kept popping up on the internet when I was searching for the roots of this recipe. So I though I would share it here.

It's generally agreed upon that Alfredo Di Lilio, a Roman restauranteur, created our modern version of fettuccine Alfredo in 1914. The dish was an improvement that he made upon an similar, earlier Italian dish that was made only with butter to tempt the lost appetite of his pregnant wife.

This buttery dish certainly tempts me.

Here's what you'll need:

1/4 cup pine nuts
2 ounces thin prosciutto slices cut into slivers
5 ounces Brie cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
Approximately 3 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
8 ounces dried fettuccine
2 tablespoons fresh basil
Ground pepper to taste

Over medium high heat in a saucepan lightly toast the pine nuts. Then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
In the same pan add the prosciutto and cook until slightly browned. Then add to the bowl with the pine nuts.
Break cheese into small squares and put in a bowl, add the cream and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cream forms bubbles. Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
In the meantime combine wine and chicken broth in saucepan. Add the thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
Return heat to high. When the liquid is boiling add fettuccine. Cook until pasta is tender, There should be a generous amount of liquid, you can add extra broth if it is too dry.
Add cheese to the mixture and stir for about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and let stand for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Serve in bowls and sprinkle with pine nut/prosciutto mixture and serve immediately.


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