Magazine article Sunset

Perfecting Pasta

Magazine article Sunset

Perfecting Pasta

Article excerpt

A few shortcuts make fettuccine Alfredo a modern classic

Researching a cookbook in Rome long ago, I received a serious amount of attention from restaurant staff when I ordered fettuccine Alfredo, where Alfredo himself had produced it. Before my eyes, tender ribbons of fresh pasta were lifted from a cauldron of boiling water and tossed into a silken sauce with lumps of golden butter, cascades of thick cream, and a blizzard of feathery parmesan cheese. It took three waiters in concert to produce this masterpiece in a shining copper pan on a tabletop stove. Rich to the point of indigestion; nonetheless, a landmark dish.

I bought a hand-ranked pasta machine to make the fresh fettuccine and headed home with the recipe for the sauce. Fettuccine Alfredo became a standard in our house. Even my young daughter and her friends loved it, especially if they could pull the impossibly long strands of fresh noodles, draped over their arms, from the machine while I turned the handle. As the years rolled along, my taste for creamy pastas expanded, setting off a battle with the same shift in my waistline. …

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