I got an email notification yesterday that Christmas decorating ideas were trending on Pinterest…wait, WHAT?!? I’m not quite that ahead of the game and I’m guessing you aren’t either. I am barely ready for Valentine’s Day and that’s only a few days away! That started me thinking about something yummy to make at home for your sweetie with little to no effort. Something rich, decadent and befitting a holiday characterized by rarely eaten chocolates and overpriced roses. Alfredo, I figure, is just the thing to fit the bill . It goes with chicken, beef, pork or fish equally well and (don’t tell anyone!) it’s one of the most simple things you can make at home. A box of pasta – any shape will do but I prefer mini penne or traditional fettuccine – some cream, butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano and you have the makings for one of Italy’s most coveted and popular dishes. Of course, I like to shake mine up a bit. So put the water on to boil, open a bottle of wine and have a very happy heart day!
8oz dry pasta – any shape will do
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 (5.2oz) container Boursin cheese, or more to taste
1/2 cup good quality, imported grated parmigiano-reggiano
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Bring a large pot of water to rolling boil. Add enough salt for it to taste like the sea. Drop pasta in water and cook according to package directions (I always take mine out about 2 minutes early and finish it directly in the sauce).
Meanwhile, in another shallow pan, melt butter over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle, add garlic. Let cook until fragrant but not brown. Add cream and Boursin and bring to rolling boil. Drain pasta (saving some of cooking liquid in case the sauce gets too thick) and add to cream mixture. Let simmer 2-3 until thickened to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish off heat with with parmigiano-reggiano and fresh parsley.
NOTES: Good ingredients are always imperative, but when you’re cooking something with such a short list, it’s REALLY important to use only the best. This recipe doesn’t call for much of any one thing so splurge and get the best butter, cheese and pasta you can buy. It will make all the difference in your end dish.
A quick rant on curly vs. flat leaf parsley: Please promise me, and yourself, that you’ll NEVER buy/use CURLY parsley. Ever. Again. Curly parsley is a relatively bland, tasteless herb that was overused to the point of ubiquity in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s a non-functional garnish – my least favorite kind – and a complete waste of resources (both time and money). Flat leaf parsley (aka Italian parsley) on the other hand, has a fresh, herbaceous, almost lemony, quality that enhances any dish to which it is added. BTW – always at the end, always off the heat.
Good eating, Candace