Valentine's Day Dish

Just in time for Valentine's Day!  Executive Chef & Caterer, John Paulk, shows us how to make a delicious Fettuccine Alfredo.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 4-6


The success of this Roman dish depends on first-rate ingredients. If you can find an unsalted European-style butter, such as Plugra (widely available at gourmet groceries), use it here. It has a richer flavor and a lower water content than everyday brands. For the best taste, seek out heavy cream that is not ultra-pasteurized. When you buy a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, ask the clerk to cut a wedge fresh from the wheel to make sure it is not too dried out.

In Italy, this luxurious dish is served in small portions as a first course. Try it before a simple main dish of poached or baked fish or grilled meat.



1½ cups             heavy cream

5 Tbs.                         unsalted butter

2 ea                        Garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup                         Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

                        Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

                        Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

2 lbs                        Assorted wild mushrooms

1 Tbs. ea            Virgin olive oil and butter

½ Cup                        White wine

1 lb.                         Fettuccine



1.     In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the cream and butter to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 minute.


2.     Add 6 Tbs. of the cheese and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper and a generous pinch of nutmeg. (Be judicious with the salt. Parmigiano-Reggiano is salty, so too much added salt will throw this creamy, sweet sauce out of balance.)


3.     Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the freshness of the pasta. Drain the pasta well.


4.     While the pasta is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. When it sizzles add mushrooms and cook until browned.

5.     Add white wine and allow simmering for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


6.     Put the pasta in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Pour on the sauce, top with mushrooms, sprinkle with 6 Tbs. of the cheese and toss well. Serve immediately. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.


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