this is my thesis: if you’re going to kill yourself slowly with creamy/carby/fatty food indulgences, shouldn’t the food taste as good as it possibly can?
jarred alfredo sauce makes me sad. it’s not the idea that it’s cheese sauce in a jar (i could sneer at that if it weren’t for the velveeta thing a few entries ago), or that it tastes horrible — it’s that homemade alfredo sauce is SO much easier than one might think, and is equally fattening AND fresh-tasting. try it one time; i bet ragu gets no love from that point on.
note: you can omit the roasted red peppers & mushrooms if you hate vegetables OR you resent any modicum of nutrition being incorporated into The Last Supper of greed and lard. or, you can blow your own mind and add REAL GREEN stuff like broccoli, which is truly delicious in alfredo.
this recipe will serve at least 4 grown-ups.
kiddo alert: none here.
- 2 cups heavy cream (yes, half and half will work, but it’s not going to make you any skinnier.)
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 3-4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1-2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
^ that’s IT for a basic alfredo. you can make it using JUST those ingredients, and it will taste wonderful. but, we’re going to add a few more.
- 1/3 cup roasted red peppers (usually found in jars, in pickle section), well-drained and patted dry, and chopped
- 5-6 mushrooms (button or ‘bella), sliced
- small palmful of chopped parsley and basil (sub 2 tsp dried italian seasoning if you don’t have fresh)
- melt butter in a large, nonstick saucepan over med heat.
- saute garlic in the butter for a few minutes. add the red peppers and mushrooms, saute another few minutes.
- slowly add in the cream while stirring. the butter and cream will want to separate. keep stirring. make them love one another.
- bring to just BARELY a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook/stir for about 5 more minutes. you’ll want to stir quite frequently to avoid separation of butter and cream.
- stir in parm cheese. i like about 1 and a half or 2 cups in my batch of sauce. i like that sharpness with the creaminess. sauce should thicken up a bit. stir in your herbs and your black pepper.
- taste and decide whether you want to add salt. i usually don’t want to add any, b/c there is enough salt in the parm cheese. you may want to add a little.
- pour over your favorite noodles and enjoy. this is enough sauce for 4 large servings, so that’s about 1 whole box of pasta you’re gonna want to cook. *whispers* al dente…
OH. do you like chicken or shrimp alfredo? i do, too. in fact, i never make alfredo without some protein in it. lemme take care of that end of things. if you want shrimp, you can either
a) stir in some pre-cooked shrimp after you reduce sauce down from a boil to low, or
b) BETTER! use a separate pan to saute raw shrimp in some EVOO and chopped garlic, salt & pepper, and then add it in when you reduce the sauce heat.
if you want chicken, you can either
a) use pre-cooked chicken breast strips (i’ve never tried this, but i know it would work)
b) BETTER! chop 2 boneless, skinless breasts into 1-inch cubes, dredge in flour mixed w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dry italian seasoning. heat 2 tbsp EVOO and stir-fry chicken for 6-7 minutes until done. add chicken in when you reduce sauce heat.
enjoy and savor. let your mind be easy, it’s nothing an extra 5 minutes on the treadmill can’t fix. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA