As I've mentioned before, I adore Italian cuisine, it is definitely my favourite type of food to cook and to eat. An alfredo sauce is traditionally just made using butter and parmesan cheese and tossed with pasta. However, I make my alfredo sauce with the extra ingredient of single cream as it creates a thicker, creamier sauce. In this way it is similar to carbonara, although this sauce does not contain egg and the parmesan provides a different flavour - this sauce is stronger and richer and absolutely delicious! I added smoked bacon, mushrooms and chives, but this would also be great with chicken and a different herb such as parsley. The key ingredient here is the parmesan - I know it is expensive but it is definitely worth it for such a luxurious dish. Do not use the fake, dried parmesan that is finely grated and comes in a tub! It will not have a nice flavour once mixed in at all! This parmesan should be used for sprinkling on top of dishes only (in my opinion anyway). This pasta dish is traditionally made with fettuccine, however I couldn't find any in the supermarket so I used tagliatelle - which is basically the same anyway. This dish is best served with garlic bread (I bought tear and share garlic bread and added extra parmesan), but be careful as it is very filling... Fettuccine alfredo obviously isn't for those watching their weight, but is perfect for a Saturday night treat as part of a balanced diet!
- 200g fettuccine, or other pasta such as tagliatelle
- 40g butter (I used unsalted because there is strong, salty flavour from the bacon)
- 4 rashers of smoked bacon, cut into small strips (I used lean bacon with the fat cut off)
- 200g mushrooms, sliced or chopped
- 80ml single cream (more or less depending on the richness and consistency you want)
- 60g parmesan, grated (same as above), plus extra to garnish
- handful of fresh chives or parsley, finely snipped or chopped, to garnish
1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook according to instructions on the packet (should take about 10-12 minutes)
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a smaller pan and fry the bacon and the mushrooms until the bacon has crisped and the mushrooms are soft and shrunk down.
3. Add the cream and parmesan shavings to the butter, bacon and mushrooms. Stir and season as required. This is where you can decide whether to add more butter, cream or parmesan - don't be afraid to taste it and experiment with quantities!
4. Drain the pasta once cooked and return to the pan, stir in the sauce and toss with the pasta. The sauce shouldn't be runny, but should coat the pasta. Serve on a plate and garnish with parmesan shavings and the fresh herbs. Serve with garlic bread.