Italian cuisine has been one of my favorites. It has all that cheesy flavor that anyone would like on a cold winter night or a rainy day. Moreover its a comfy cooking since most of the pasta, sauces etc are available ready in the market these days. I got attracted to this dish when I first tasted the Alfredo sauce in one of the Italian restaurants in Melbourne. I looked out for the details of the Alfredo sauce and learnt its pretty easy and quick to make with very minimum ingredients required that are easily available in the market. Alfredo Di Lelio, a restaurateur in Rome, served Fettuccine in Alfredo Sauce with all that rich flavor of Parmesan and butter and hence, Fettuccine is best served with the Alfredo sauce. It includes boiled vegetables, again any vegetables of your choice go well with the dish, one more positive of the dish. I have used Gnocchi here, but any pasta can be used of your choice and convenience. As of now, I have used market bought Gnocchi. Have fun trying it out and more fun eating it!!
Recipe: (Serves 4)
For Alfredo sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cups cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
4-5 cloves garlic, grated or sliced
1/2 cup spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp mixed dry herbs
1 tsp white pepper
a pinch of salt, if required
2 cups Gnocchi
3-4 cups mix boiled vegetables
Alfredo Sauce: place a medium size saucepan on low heat and olive oil to it. Let the olive oil just get warm and not hot,and add garlic to it. Point to be considered here, we don’t want to burn the garlic, but just cook it. After a minute, add the chopped spring onions and allow to cook for about 5 minutes on medium flame. They need to cook very well so in case it takes more than 5 minutes, allow it. Once cooked, add butter and then slowly add the milk, taking extra care it does not split. Keep stirring constantly and after a minute, add the cream and all the cheese. Allow all the cheese to melt and everything to mix well till the sauce starts thickening. Remember not to stop stirring the sauce, else it splits if left still. Finally add the dry herbs, white pepper and basil pesto. Let it boil while you stir and once you get the consistency you prefer, take it off the gas. It usually is thick, but not as thick as pasta sauce or a pizza sauce, but a pouring consistency. It does thicken on cooling, so while cooking, you might feel its too thin but it should be fine once it cools down. Once it is off the gas, strain it through a strainer to get a thick, smooth and creamy sauce. Taste to check if any salt is required because cheese would usually cover the saltiness and if required, you can add accordingly. That’s it, we are done with the sauce.
Once you are done with the sauce, you have everything ready to plate up. You can combine while serving. In case you are planning to serve 3-4 hours later, make sure you heat the sauce on gas rather than microwave.
To serve, place a couple of fresh lettuce leaves if you like them, add some Gnocchi, boiled vegetables, pour the Alfredo sauce and garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese. For plating up, its completely your choice as to what quantity you prefer for each thing. I usually prefer a bit more sauce since it is the main source of flavor in this dish. Bread is always the best accompaniment with any Pasta dish so you can have it any bread of your choice.
In case you don’t have spring onions, you can always use regular onions/shallots.
Same with white pepper powder, regular black pepper powder can be used and in place of Gnocchi, any other pasta of your choice can e used.
If you are inviting guests, I would recommend not to add salt and pepper beforehand
but leave it unto them since everyone has a different taste.
Alfredo Sauce stays good if kept in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days so you can always save some and use it after few days with some other pasta dish.