B.'s birthday was a couple months ago, and upon finding out that this was his favorite dish, I emailed my mother for the recipe that was long a treat of my childhood. It tastes nothing like the kind of alfredo you might buy jarred, and everything like cheese and cream and decadence.
Of course, there is absolutely NOTHING healthy about this recipe. But that's hardly the point.
Fettucine all'Alfredo (fettucine tossed in butter and cream)
for 5 or 6 people
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
fettucine (the recipe recommends fresh, but I am not yet that industrious)
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper (4-6 turns of the grinder)
a tiny grating of nutmeg (according to my mother's notes, absolutely KEY to this recipe)
1. Choose an enameled cast-iron pan, or other flameproof cook-and-serve ware, that can later accommodate all of the cooked fettucine comfortably. Put in 2/3 of the cup of cream and all of the butter and simmer over medium heat for less than a minute, until the butter and cream have thickened. Turn off the heat.
2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, then drop in the fettucine and cover the pot until the water returns to a boil. If the fettucine are fresh, they will be done a few seconds after the water returns to a boil. If dry, they will take a little longer. (Cook the fettucine a little bit firmer than usual because they will be cooked some more in the pan.) Drain immediately and thoroughly when done, and transfer to the pan contained the butter and cream.
3. Turn on the heat under the pan to low, and toss the fettucine coating them with sauce. Add the rest of the cream, all the grated cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper and nutmeg. Toss briefly until the cream has thickened and the fettucine are well-coated. Taste and correct for salt. Serve immediately from the pan with a bowl of additional grated cheese on the side.
Amazingly, the first time I tried this recipe, it came out just as I remembered it. :)