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Entries in Fetticini Alfredo with Bacon and Peas (1)

Sunday
Mar032013

Fetticini Alfredo with Bacon and Peas

We used to call this hay and straw, using both plain and spinach fettuccini.   The Girl doesn’t like spinach pasta, so we use fresh peas for the green. 

I used to try to make this recipe in a low-fat version.  Doesn’t work.  There has to be enough fat in the sauce to keep it from breaking, and once you get past a certain point, that’s exactly what it does.  So go for it, and just have it once or twice a year.  It’s worth it. 

It’s simple enough to make (in fact, Grace made the sauce) so why anyone would feed their kids out of a blue box makes no sense to me.  You can make the sauce a day or so in advance, and just heat it through while the water is boiling.  We used fresh fettuccine pasta here, but decided it would be better with a shape that the peas got caught in.

Ingredients

1-1/2 lbs fresh fettuccine
2 cups heavy cream
4-5 cups fresh grated Reggiana Parmesana cheese (about 8 oz)
1 stick unsalted butter
1-2 cups freshly shelled peas
1 cup finely sliced and slivered ham, or cooked, crumbled bacon
White pepper and fresh grated nutmeg
NO SALT (taste and adjust the salt at the end)

  • In a medium heavy saucepan, melt the butter. 
  • When it is melted, add the heavy cream.  Allow the butter and cream to simmer for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to have the heat up high enough to scald it.
  • Add the cheese, about half first, then keep adding and allowing the cheese to thoroughly melt.  Once the sauce is smooth and silky, and coats the back of a spoon, it’s done.  Taste it for seasoning, add the white pepper and just a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Bring 6-8 quarts of water to a boil, adding 1-2 teaspoons of salt to the water just as it is coming up.
  •  Add the pasta and cook until it is al dente.  Fresh pasta only takes 2-4 minutes to cook, dried takes up to 10 minutes, depending on how big your pot is.  The bigger the pot, the more water you have in it, the faster the pasta cooks.  For the last 2 minutes, add the peas into the boiling pasta.
  •  Drain the pasta, but don’t rinse it.  (NEVER RINSE PASTA.)  Put the pan back on the stove and turn the heat back on to medium.  Make sure all of the water is dried out of the pan before you add anything back.  While the pasta is draining, put the sauce into the pasta pan.  When it is heated through (if you made it in advance), add the ham or bacon, and the drained pasta, and toss.  Serve with remaining grated cheese.  Your kids (and friends) will lick their bowls.