It’s been 4 years since I lived it Italy and first became aware of my love of cooking. I mean, I’d always known I had the capacity to cook, but never knew I could enjoy myself doing it and feel so accomplished after making every meal. I still remember the first meal I made in Italy that I was really proud of. It was Valentines Day, and after a long day of classes, I just wanted to treat myself. On the way home I picked up a big block of Parmigiano Reggiano, a large loaf of Italian bread, and a bottle of Chianti. I had printed out a simple recipe for fettuccine alfredo, but was nervous to make, what had been for such a long time, one of my favorite meals.
My aunt Liz, who I praise endlessly on this site, would make certain foods only a few times a year. She knew we loved it and knew we relished the few times she would make that one special dish: like her amazing tiramisu, her delicious cheesecake, her perfect lasagna, or my personal favorite, her decadent fettuccine alfredo. Every time I went to visit I always asked the same question: “Did you make fettuccine alfredo?” and on those rare occasions when she said yes I was overjoyed!
So when I wanted to make myself a quiet and romantic-ish dinner for myself on that Valentine’s Day- I knew what I would try. It came out well- a little heavy (which is always the case with this meal) but the sentiment, the memories, and most importantly- the taste- were all there. I wanted to recreate that this year but with a little twist. I added peas and prosciutto to make it a little more special and a little more flavorful.
Fettuccini Alfredo – serves 2
1/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup of cream
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 minced garlic cloves
2 thin slices of prosciutto, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 lb fettuccine
1. Start boiling well-salted water for the fettuccine. In a wide pan, add the butter and set over low heat. When the butter is melted and begins to bubble add the minced garlic and raise the heat to medium-low. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to brown.
2. Around this time the water should be boiling, so add the pasta and cook for about 7 minutes. You want to take the pasta out before it is fully cooked because it will also cook in the sauce for a few minutes.
3. Add the cream and allow to cook for a few minutes, continually stirring. Add the frozen peas and allow to cook for a few minutes. Continue stirring so the cream doesn’t boil over. Add parmesan and stir well.
4. Once the pasta is cooked drain and add to the sauce. Toss well and add the prosciutto. Cook for another minute and serve. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and eat immediately.