Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Never Buy It Again: Alfredo Sauce

As I recall, when I discovered how easy homemade ranch dressing was to make, I threatened to do a series of posts on foods that one should never buy again.  Well, the game is on because I've found my second inspiration.

Actually, I haven't so much discovered this DIY fave, as finally photographed it. (I'm so lazy sometimes.  Raahlly, I am.)  The point is that I made my own Alfredo sauce again--just to take it's pretty picture--because it's so easy.  Though I've never been tempted to pay real American dollars for a jar of gloppy pseudo-Alfredo sauce, I'm hoping to convince you to avoid it now.   

Truth be told, Alfredo sauce is so simple that it doesn't really require a recipe, just a basic understanding of what goes into it.  In essence it's cream, butter, and grated Parmigiano.  I add garlic because the scent of it in combination with cream makes me a little swoony, even left over.

Of course, I found many versions out there on the interweb when I was seeking comparison to what I'd already done.  The purists do not do garlic.  Some people substitute other, more melty cheeses for part of the Parmigiano.  White pepper or black may be used.  In short and as usual, have a grand old time adapting it to your desires.  With a little protein and vegetable added (turkey and spinach in my photographed version), it's a quick, rich one bowl meal.

Whatever you do to it, the sauce is still easy enough that it should be added to your repertoire and never bought againI mean, cream is almost a stand-alone ingredient.  It's hard to go wrong here. 

Also...Yes, I know that cream is FULL OF FAT, and therefore calories.  So, no, I am not recommeding that you make this often.  I'm just bossily opining that, if the old calorie budget has a cream sized niche in it, there is no need to buy a jar of unreal (and I mean that literally) chemicals trying to approximate cream, when a pint of cream is cheaper and more authentic, and the sauce itself is...Well, I would say a piece of cake, but cake isn't nearly as easy as Alfredo sauce.  Maybe we should say "Easy as Alfredo" instead.  

If you try it, "Easy as Alfredo" may become your new catch phrase.  But I want credit if it goes viral.

Alfredo Sauce

Serves: 4

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup cream
Freshly ground black pepper or ground white pepper to taste
1/2 cup (or more, to your taste) Parmigiano, grated

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the garlic in the butter for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add the cream and allow to simmer and reduce for 10-20 minutes. (Let's say, while your pasta water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks.  Beautiful plan, isn't it!)  Stir in the pepper and cheese, reserving some cheese for garnish.  Toss with hot, cooked and drained pasta, and serve.

1 comment:

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Funny story about Alfredo sauce: In my pre-Blackrock life, before I became intimately acquainted with real cream, a friend and I visited my brother in San Francisco. He wanted to make Alfredo sauce for dinner one night, so I went to the store to get the cream. Except, not realizing that there are actually several cream-like substances offered, I bought a sweetened whipping cream instead of regular cream.

He made the sauce anyway and we ate it. Because we were in college at the time, and you do not throw food away when you're in college. But I don't recommend that particular riff on Alfredo.