Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Satisfying my pasta cravings

While I enjoyed the food in India, there were lots of times that I missed eating foods from home: salads, Thai food, tuna sandwiches, hamburgers. I had a running mental list of things I would eat once I returned home.

In the first week that I was home, I made this recipe two nights in a row. That's how good it was. And really easy, too! I subscribe to the weekly newsletter, The Splendid Table, and last month, they included a recipe for "true fettuccine alfredo." Besides pasta, it consisted of three major ingredients: butter, cream, and Parmesan. That's it. I don't know why it never occurred to me how simple an alfredo sauce is — and to think of all those years in college when I would buy this kind of sauce in a jar!

The one change I made from the original recipe was to not add salt at the end of cooking. I included the salt the first night, and it turned out to be too salty. Considering that the pasta cooks in salted water and then salty Parmesan is added, extra salt at the end is simply redundant — and far too much.

This is not the kind of dish that's going to help you lose those last five pounds. If that's your goal, you probably don't want to eat this two nights in a row. But, if you can risk the calories, you may just want to eat this as often as you can.

Pasta with alfredo sauce
(based on a recipe from The Splendid Table)

1/2 c dry pasta (I used bowties because I wasn't in the mood for the long shapes)
1 tbsp butter
1/3 c heavy cream
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta in well-salted water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pan. Set aside while pasta cooks.

When pasta is ready and drained, reheat butter, and add cream. Add pasta and stir to allow cream to absorb. Remove from heat, and add cheese. Stir. Add more cheese if desired. Season with ground pepper (and herbs if you like — I added herbes de Provence) to taste.

Serves one.

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