Recently I found myself, just before bed, fantasizing about Fettuccine Alfredo. I wanted the very simple version, more creamy than cheesy, that I used to get as takeout in college. Unfortunately, it was too late to make my own and I no longer live anywhere near enough to that restaurant for takeout, but the next day I was able to make that fantasy a reality.
Since the sauce itself is very simple, I thought it would be fun to make my own pasta as well, and it was. I have a pasta roller/cutter thing, which I like using a bit more than rolling and cutting it by hand because the kids always beg me to let them help out turning the crank. The recipe for the pasta dough, if you can call it that, was simply one and a half cups flour mixed with three large eggs.
And the results were even better than my dreams. I've made all kinds of Alfredos, and I usually enjoy them (butter, cream and cheese? what's not to like?), but in this recipe the prosciutto and nutmeg definitely give sort of a form to all that fat, and the cream is reduced and full of flavor, and the homemade pasta just sucks up all the sauce... I'll be in my kitchen.
Fettucine with Prosciutto, Cream, and Nutmeg
from Marcella Says... by Marcella Hazan
3 TB butter
Prosciutto cut into narrow strips to measure 2/3 cup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fettuccine made as above or 10 oz. boxed
1. Put the butter and the prosciutto in a large skillet and turn on the heat to low. Lightly brown the prosciutto, stirring from time to time, being careful not to overcook it and dry it out.
2. Add the cream and nutmeg and cook down the cream, stirring from time to time, reducing it by a third. Should you inadvertently reduce it more than you would have liked, stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Turn off the heat until the pasta is cooked.
3. When the fettuccine is done, drain and slide into the skillet with the sauce (reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water; see above). Turn on the heat to medium and toss thoroughly. Add the grated Parmigiano, toss again, and serve promptly. Between the prosciutto and the cheese you most likely won't need to add any salt.