Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Will the Real (Fettuccine) Alfredo Please Stand Up?

"Saveur - The New Comfort Food, Home Cooking from Around the World" edited by James Oseland Chronicle Books 255 pages $35

This is a very good cook book and as the gift-giving season gears up, can heartily recommend it.
It isn't "just recipes." Here is a sample and I must say that I never knew this...

Fettuccine Alfredo was "invented" in the early 1900s when a restaurateur in Rome, named Alfredo di Lelio, began serving a variety of fettuccine al burro, a mix of nothing more than butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

1 lb. dried fettuccine, prepared as usual - reserve 3/4 of a cup of the boiling water
2 sticks of sweet butter
3 1/4 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano

Slice the sticks of butter into pats and place them on a serving platter (one with a rim)
Drain the pasta and start mixing it with the butter on the platter, adding the cheese at intervals. If your pasta is dry-ish, add a bit of the reserved pasta water and keep swirling until the pasta is well-coated and shiny-looking. That's it!

No cream, no Swiss cheese. A mere 3 ingredients and a beautiful presentation in front of your guests. Or, you can mix the water and butter together, dump in the pasta, start stirring and adding the Parmigiano-Reggiano in the kitchen.

But do not put in any cream!

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