Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nigel Slater's 'Needs Must' Fettuccine Alfredo

It's our first week cooking along with Nigel Slater at I Heart Cooking Clubs and we are making any of his recipes to welcome him and kick things off for the next six months. I have been a Nigel Slater fan for awhile now, have several of his cookbooks and have made several of his recipe over the years (check out his label on my side bar if you want to see them). 

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.



  1. The addition of the nutmeg makes this sound perfect!

  2. Sometimes, I definitely feel a fettuccine alfredo "NEED". Saving this for the next time that happens!

  3. I am a pasta fiend and the creamier the sauce the better as far as I'm concerned. I have cut back consumption of this kind of dish over the past year or so, but every once in a while ... 'needs must' sums it up. Great start to the Nigel chapter of IHCC!

  4. Pam Armstrong GreerApril 4, 2014 at 5:33 AM

    Sounds wonderful!!! I think I need that book! (Also, I have a soup entree this week for Sunday)

  5. Pasta always works in our household, that looks delicious.

  6. I'm often drawn to his recipes by their names and his accompanying headnotes...there's definitely a "need" for creamy pasta on occasion - this one looks wonderful.

  7. Hi Deb,
    The nutmeg is a wonderful touch to the flavour of this simple yet rich pasta. It looks really good. And I love this book of Nigel's!
    A wonderful choice to welcome NS!

  8. When I think pasta, I always head for a creamy, rich sauce. My thighs wish this wasn't the case, but I'm very good at ignoring them.

    This is such a simple recipe, but so decadent and satisfying!

  9. Wow, Deb! This recipe really is a "needs must". This is an easy peasy version of alfredo and one that I have to save up for so I can enjoy it:) I will definitely be making this one during our time with Nigel!

    Glad to see you enjoyed it :) Looks fantastic!

  10. I don't have Notes from the Larder but I am going to look for it today. Have you ever heard of Thrift Books online? I scored some great cookbooks there for under $10. Off to get this book for sure.
    Great fettucine dish. Now that we have to go gluten free I will need to look for GF pasta.

  11. I need to check them out Tina. I buy from Powell's online and they often have used and sale copies. 3 of my Nigel's were used bookstore finds. ;-)

  12. Here is the link for Thrift Books. They have great deals!
    Let me know if you see a copy of Notes from the Larder at your used book places, please :-)

  13. I think it's too new for that ;-) buy I'll keep my eyes open. I got mine with a coupon online w/ Barnes & Noble. I have a membership so w/ the online price, 10% membership + 20% discount coupon, it was around $20.60 & members get free shipping so I was pretty happy with that.


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