What? I'm confused. I have no idea what she's talking about.
Though I'm sure there are many cooks and chefs in blogsphere who know the story and history of Alfredo sauce. But here I am, a busy grammy chauffering grandkids and always rushing to get home early enough to prepare something easy and fast for dinner.
Anyway, sister starts telling me the story and I'm remembering our childhood when our mother and both of our grandmothers made 'macaroni' dishes five nights a week -- they came up with dozens of varieties of pasta dishes and not one of them was with only butter and cheese.
We never had Alfredo sauce, ever, ever - not the "Original" with butter, or the American version with heavy cream and cheese which has been called "heart attack on a plate". I never even heard of Alfredo sauce until many years after I was married.
"O.k., o.k." I'm telling sister as she is trying to convince me to re-make the "original" Alfredo sauce. She knows I like to re-make recipes especially since I'm the one who has to keep the "bad fats" out of my diet.
Can't be too difficult, after all how could you mess up melting butter. So I'm convinced, but my other half is not going to be happy eating pasta with butter, even if it is the "Original" Alfredo sauce. Not hearty enough, you know what I mean?
But he did clean the plate. I guess he liked it.
So let's take this "Original" to a new level. I encourage everyone to make their own version. Use the butter as the base, then use your imagination or you can use these tips to start and then you can embellish any way you choose.
This can be a great vegetarian dish. I'm going to take a big risk here and guess that some terrific cooks out there have done this already.
I'll be using the butter alternative smart balance as my base (I'm not endorsing this product, I just like it better than others on the market).
Let's begin with these ingredients, any or all of which you can use or eliminate:
- Shallots or garlic chopped
- 1-2 TBLS. fresh lemon juice and some white wine (approx. 1/4 cup)
- any cooked and chopped fresh vegetable you would like to add
- fresh Buitoni fettuccine or linguine (the fresh Buitoni only takes a few minutes to cook)
- 1/4 cup or so of the hot pasta water if needed
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley chopped, or fresh chopped basil
- Saute the shallots or garlic in the melted butter until soft and opaque.
- Add the fresh lemon juice and white wine if using and let cook for a minute or two.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently stir to blend the flavors with the pasta.
- If you need more sauce, add some of the hot pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley or basil.
- Add some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
There you have it, your own original pasta dish using the "Original" Alfredo sauce as your base.
For this pasta dish choose a white wine with creamy buttery flavors which you can find in a Chardonnay from California. Many are fermented and/or aged in oak which gives the wine those flavors. This will go well with the butter sauce.
If you make your sauce with more of a lemon flavor try a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for their acidity which will match the acidity from the lemon sauce.