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Is there an easier way to make Fettucine Alfredo?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Id actually like one where I didnt have to use raw eggs, even though it says the hot pasta will cook the eggs. I dont think that is true. The last thing I need is sick customers. There has to be an easier method. Ill give you the recipe Im using.

Cook pasta

While pasta is cooking mix the following in a bowl:

butter
cream cheese
parmesan cheese
eggs
heavy cream
salt & pepper

Toss finished pasta with sauce and serve. Cant remember the exact ingredients will have to look through my recipe cards and edit later.
Jodi


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post #2 of 26
Checking over a number of Alfredo recipes that are supposedly "authentic", I can find none that use eggs. It is usually made up of garlic, cream, cheese, pepper and olive oil or butter.

Here is one recipe I have used:

8 Tbs. butter
1 cup freshly grated parm
1/2 cup cream
salt & pepper

melt butter in pan, add cream, whisking constantly until hot and slightly reduced. Add cheese and cook (without boiling) just until melted. Add cooked and drained pasta.

Most of the other recipes I have are just variations on this theme. It tends to be a little more loose than ones thickened with eggs, but also more authentic. I have also come across numerous references that say that the traditional recipes used no cream at all. In that case you blend roomtemp butter with freshly grated parm until you have a smooth paste, then toss with hot, drained noodles along with a little of the pasta water.
post #3 of 26
Your recipe sounds more like a meatless Carbonara than an Alfredo, ShawtiCat! :(

I never measure but my recipe is quite similar to Pete's. :rolleyes:
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post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have searched my books and finally realized that this recipe was given to me by a greek cook who is also a friend of my MIL. :rolleyes: He is the one that suggested the cream cheese and egg yolk. All my books have the same recipe as yours. Ive always questioned the use of raw egg yolk.

So here is another question. I am wondering how long can I prepare this sauce in advance. Should I make a big batch the beginning of the week or two small batches, one at the begining and the other in the middle? Are there any other pasta sauces that can be made in advance and refrigerated and will this affect the taste?

Thanks.
Jodi


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post #5 of 26
One of the catering companies I worked for made an Alfredo sauce starting with a white roux, then adding cream, cooking it down, and adding parm and butter at the end. Since we were making huge batches at one time for several gigs, all going out with on-site chefs, it seemed to keep the sauce from breaking. Using just a little roux seemed to be enough.
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post #6 of 26

Here's how my husband did it...

...And we had regular customers who came back repeatedly for this...

Par cooked fettucini, still quite firm.

In the pan,
a squirt of oil
a tsp of freshly chopped garlic
A good ..slurp of cream (don't quite know how to describe the amount, probably 1/2 cup)
a fistfull of grated parmesan
S&P
cook for a minute
toss in a good fistful of fettucini
toss to coat
cook 1-2 minutes to heat through.

I'm telling you, this stuff is delicious. It is made by the pan. We found it best to do it this way - it doesn't hold very well.
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post #7 of 26
Chiffonade's version is fresh and great, and since it's so quick, it should work for you. You just have to be careful about keeping the cream under refrigeration, only taking it out to pour some and then RIGHT back into the fridge. If you don't think that will be possible, you could boil it down first. That will not eliminate the safety problem completely, but will help some. Also, it makes the dish a bit richer. Anyway, to my taste, simpler is usually better.
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post #8 of 26

White Roux

I start my Alfredo sauce with a white roux also, Marmalady. It makes the sauce fail proof and gives it body. I never saw a recipe for this sauce and worked it out in my head. I'm glad to see that it is okay to make it this way:) I like to add chopped broccoli florets or seafood.
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post #9 of 26

hmmmm Alfredo Sauce

Well, all i can do is tell u what i do and yes the authentic recipe for alfredo sauce is thickened with egg yolks, it has the same principle as if making a custurd.
My recipe i find very easy and i make it to order.
1and half cups cream
2oz of grated parm
2ozof grated pecorino
and 1T of butter
heat the cream to a boil in pan then add cheese and pasta at same time and toss with butter salt and pepper as needed, The pecorino cheese makes the difference in this sauce it adds a little bit of a tang to it.:chef: :chef:
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post #10 of 26
Shawnty, I did some checking, and all of the recipes (both in my books and on the net), that claim to be authentic do not use eggs in it.

But on the issue of using raw egg yolks in such dishes, I would not worry too much, as long as you are careful. I eat carbonara quite often. It uses raw egg yolks, and I have never gotten the slightest bit ill from it. And you really are cooking them. If you make the dish correctly, there should not bee much cream and yolk, and the pasta comes right out of the boiling water, and into the bowl, your eggs will get cooked. Sure, not all the way cooked, but about to the same degree of doneness that a hollendaise does. And they surely get more cooked than a yolk in an over-easy or sunny-side-up egg.
post #11 of 26
As far as egg yolks go i'm just relaying the message from Chef Claudio Peppini (god rest his soul) who was from Florence Italy who i had the privlage of studing under.:chef:
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post #12 of 26
Can't say anything about fettuccine Alfredo as they're totally unknown in Italy (it always amazes me a lot that one of the most popular "Italian" pasta dishes in US is not Italian...and I'd like to know from you experts the history of this recipe!) but I'd like to add my 2 cents to the Carbonara recipe:

The original recipe calls not only for egg yolks, but also for whites. You're supposed to beat slightly the whole eggs with salt, pepper and parmesan and then add the hot pasta. The old-fashion Roman cooks are so skilful and can toss the mix so quickly that they get a smooth cream and not an omelet!
The problem is that's likely that common people get an omelet...so, the usual recipes contain only the egg yolks (about 1 egg each person) but NOT the cream.
You must fry the diced "Guanciale" (bacon) in oil until crispy; beat the egg yolks with salt, pepper, grated parmesan or Pecorino cheese; cook the pasta; toss it very quickly with the egg mixture; add the fried Guanciale and serve.
If you want a tastier recipe, adding some chopped onion, fried separately until soft in the same oil of the guanciale, is admitted; but cream, although very used also in Italy, is not an ingredient of the true Carbonara recipe.

Pongi
post #13 of 26
Hi, Pongi, Found this re history of Alfredo sauce:

http://www.neuronet.pitt.edu/~mruperto/alfredo1.htm

The classic way of preparing fettuccini is to dress the pasta with butter and parmesan. Apparently the Romans ate something similar in the 13th century. In the 1920's a Roman chef named Alfredo embellished the dish by adding cream. His restaurant, Alfredo all Scorfa, and the dish bearing his name became world famous when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, the darlings of the American movies, presented him with a gold fork and spoon in honor of his creation. I believe there are now three "Alfredo's" in Rome, one of them owned by a former employee of the original. I've never eaten in any of them, but I'm told they are all tourist traps.
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post #14 of 26
You're right Pongi, cream is not "authentic" in traditional carbonara. I use just a touch (1-2 Tablespoons) to help keep the egg from cooking too much and I tend to like mine just a bit creamier. You mentioned Guanicale (bacon). I am not familiar with that word. Is it like panchetta (unsmoked) or more like American bacon (smoked)? I was always taught to use panchetta as opposed to American bacon as the smokiness tends to overpower the dish. I have to admit though, that I prefer the smokiness of the American bacon in my carbonara.

As for the history of Alfredo, supposedly, it was created in the early part of the 1900's in a restaurant in Rome. I will have to search further in my books to see if I can find the name. It was brought over to the US in the mid-70's I believe where it achieved much more noterity than in it's native land. Usually a bastardized verision of it is served in today's restaurants. Here it is often nothing more than a bechamel (roux thickened white sauce) finished with lots of parmesan and garlic.
post #15 of 26
The French methode for Fettucine Alfredo is to use the egg yolks with cream in a Liason that is added to the other cream so as to thicken the sauce without reducing it. The eggs do cook which is how the sauce thickens so yes it is safe. I personally agree with Riverrun and that's how I do mine. Occasionally to be true to form I'll use the liason but for a less artery clogging experience I just do a reduction.
And using Bechamel is a bastardization and will never be done in my kitchen. Bechamel has a place, but Fettucine Alfredo is not it!
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post #16 of 26

Guanciale, what's this?

Guanciale is a cured pork meat made with a piece cut from the cheek and throat of the pork (the word Guanciale comes from Guancia=cheek). Like the Pancetta, the meat piece is seasoned with salt and pepper, pressed and dried in the open, but often it's also smoked, that makes it tastier and a little more like American bacon. It is typical od Central Italy (Tuscany, Lazio, marche) and Sardinia, and is the original ingredient of Carbonara and Amatriciana as well. Since it's something between Pancetta and Bacon, you can substitute it with both when making Carbonara, according to your taste. Personally, I agree with Pete and like more bacon in my Carbonara and amatriciana...:)

Pongi
post #17 of 26

Authentic...

There is absolutely no cream in the original, authentic recipe for Fettucini Alfredo. The reason we add cream is because we can't get the extremely rich butter used in Italy.
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post #18 of 26
Well...I gave a look to the link quoted by Marmalady, and found out it's something funny for an Italian:)
When we have no time for cooking or want to eat something quick and light, we often make "Pasta al Burro" (pasta with butter and parmesan) but we never think we are doing a recipe and, as I said, don't call it "Fettuccine Alfredo" that's an unknown name here! Maybe in Rome they know the restaurant, but I have checked many restaurant guides and haven't found it anywhere, so actually it must be a tourist trap as it's said in the link (this is not odd as 95% restaurants in Rome are tourist traps;) )
On the other side, I had sometimes Fettuccine Alfredo in US, but remember them as something different-pasta with alot of bechamel and other ingredients like mushrooms and so on...very bastardized versions, I suppose!

In any case, thanks for the info...there's always something to learn here!

Pongi
post #19 of 26
Pongi.

I have been to Alfredo's restaurant in Rome.

There they give you a leaflet with the story.

Around 1914, Alfredo's ( the original) wife was pregnant and she couldn't eat, she has lost her appetite

So Alfredo, went in his kitchen and made for her fetucinni with butter and pecorino cheese.

It was so tastefull that she had them at once.

As they say in Alfredo's, the rest is myth...

Alfredo's grandson went to the States where he opened his first restaurant in NYC.

I think chiffonade is right. The reason that in the States you use cream is because you want to replace the rich Italian Cheese.

:)
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post #20 of 26
Fettucini Alfredo Quick

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. table salt for the pasta plus 1/4 tsp. for the sauce
1 lb. fettuccini, fresh preferred
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
cheese plus additional cheese for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Place a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Place the butter and cream in a skillet large enough to hold the sauce and cooked pasta over medium heat and bring to a simmer and then cook until thickened enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon. (At this point you may turn off the heat and hold the cream mixture to wait for the pasta if necessary.)

When the water is boiling, add the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pasta and cook to within 2 minutes of package directions. Place the cream over low heat (or lower the heat if the cream has been continually cooking) and whisk in the egg yolk. Once incorporated, gently simmer until the sauce is thick, smooth and shiny, about 1 minute. Add the Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine until smooth, about 30 seconds. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if necessary. Drain pasta (it should be toothsome, not flabby), add to skillet, and toss to combine. Serve immediately with additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and a grating of fresh nutmeg, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

Variations:

Add 2 teaspoons fresh sage to the heavy cream and butter before it thickens.

Substitute tortellini for the fettuccini.
post #21 of 26
If you do this and your cream is a little too hot you're likely to scramble the eggs. Better perhaps to add a little extra cream to the eggs before heating (like a tablespoon) and then when the cream is hot add another tablespoon or two to the eggs to temper them before adding to the hot cream. This will help prevent curdling and or scrambling the eggs.
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post #22 of 26
This is just what I meant saying (in the Tiramisù thread) that there's no need to be scared about raw eggs if they're fresh. The egg inside is perfectly sterile as far as you don't break it and most contaminations are due to the bacteria on the shell (mainly, I should say, if the egg is "homemade" and not industrial).
FunnyTummy advice sounds good!

Pongi
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ive always heard about the "porous" egg shell and never thought to wash with anything other than water. I thought the moisture would seep through and water was my safest bet. Im gonna try a bottle of this stuff.

Thanks FT, Pongi & everyone who replied. Your tips are helping.
Jodi


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Jodi


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post #24 of 26
about 1 in every 3000 eggs may contain salmanilla , don't worry about it:chef:
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post #25 of 26

ALFREDO

PLACE A GOOD DOLLOP OF BUTTER IN THE HOT PAN,FOLLOWED BT HEAVY CREAM,ENOUGH TO REDUCE AND STILL HAVE PLENTY OF SAUCE,GARLIC IS NOT A COMPONET OF ALFREDO. PLACE AN EGG YOLK IN A SMALL CUP AND BEAT,YOU CAN OMIT IF YOU WISH BUT IT DOES COOK AND IT DOES TIGHTEN THAT SAUXCE AND GIVE IT A RICH TEXTURE AND TASTE .WHEN THIS MIXTURE LOOKS TIGHT DRAIN YOUR PASTA WELL AND PLACE IN THE PAN ADD A GOOD AMOUNT OF GOOD PARM TOSS AND SERVE,OH YEAH SALT AND PEPPER.IT IS SIMPLE AND VERY EASY. ITALIANS DO NOT USE ANYTHING ELSE.HONEST.GOOD LUCK
post #26 of 26
I did a search on Italian sites about Fettuccine Alfredo, and this is what I found out:

Firstly, they're actually almost unknown here in Italy, so it doesn't make so much sense saying that "Italians use this or that" and so on. Italians DO NOT make Fettuccine Alfredo, or, at least, don't consider them a definite recipe-not more than a dish of pasta with tomato sauce! In some sites, they were just quoted as the classic example of "Italian" dish that's popular abroad and unknown in Italy.

I also localized the restaurant "Alfredo" di Via della Scrofa, a street that in Italy is famous- not exactly for this reason but because it's the place of the headquarters of the Italian Extreme Right Party, hated by most Italians as it's considered the heir of the Fascist Party (if you also think that the "scrofa" is the female pig, all this sounds quite funny to me... :D )

As for the recipe, those I have found are basically the same of Ruth's recipe: each 2 persons, 7 oz Fettuccine, 3 1/2 oz butter, 3 1/2 oz cream, 3 1/2 oz grated Parmesan, pepper, some grated nutmeg, no eggs, directions as Ruth said.

Pongi
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