I had narrowed down my welcome dish choices to a handful of recipes but then I was paging through my newest Nigel book, the gorgeous Notes From the Larder: A Kitchen Diary With Recipes, and came across his April 23 entry titled, "Needs must." I was caught by his description of a simple fettuccine Alfredo and his need for it.
"Tonight I have a fancy--or more truthfully, a need--for a plate of creamy pasta. I am not one of the world's greatest pasta eaters, and rarely marry the ribbons, shells, or twists of dough with a cream-based dressing, but right now this is what is called for. A pot of cream aside, there is very little in the kitchen with which to dress a pasta, so I make a version of fettuccine Alfredo, the creamiest pasta dish of all."
-Nigel Slater, Notes From the Larder
Like Nigel, I am not much of a creamy pasta sauce eater but he made it sound so enticing and since I had about a cup of leftover heavy cream in the fridge, I decided to make it. I totally get having an intense need for a certain food at a certain time, and, a plate of indulgent comfort is good for the soul now and then.
'Needs Must' Fettuccine Alfredo
Notes From the Larder by Nigel Slater
(Enough for 2)
fettuccine: 9 oz (250g)
heavy cream: 1 cup (250ml)
butter: a thick slice
grated Parmesan 3 1/2 oz, about 3/4 cup (100g)
Boil the fettuccine in deep, heavily salted water till al dente. Put the cream in a saucepan with the butter and warm over gentle heat. Grate in a little nutmeg. Stir in most of the grated Parmesan and a generous amount of black pepper, then toss in the lightly drained pasta. Toss gently and serve with the remaining Parmesan
Notes/Results: Simple but luxe. The creamy sauce is just cheesy enough and the nutmeg and pepper add a little spark of extra flavor. I used fresh pasta and a local butter that has a touch of Hawaiian sea salt. A very fast and easy dish to make--especially with the fresh pasta, it takes just minutes to get it to the table. Although not a healthy dish to be enjoyed often, it certainly hits the spot when you have a fancy, or a serious need for something and satisfying. I would happily make it again.
Check out the IHCC site where we are having "A Welcome Toast to Nigel Slater" this week and see what dishes everyone made to kick off our 6-months of cooking with Nigel.