Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way.
– E.L. Doctorow
I realized as of late, there is a DMV-waiting-line of food that I have cooked, waiting and ready to be posted. At first they were patient. Now they are a 16-year-old on their birthday. Now is the only word they understand. So I am going to be the caving parent, and get these recipe kids on the road.
Not everything I cook evokes something interesting to write about. This dismays me. I love stories. I love when food has some connection to other things, like politics, the science behind the second shampoo (it’s so much more lathery!), or why people use the “word” irregardless. It’s not a word people. I don’t care if it is now officially in the dictionary. So is Googled. As a verb. Shudder.
Without my permission, my blog is sneaking out it’s bedroom window. So for now I will be the ignorant mother, and go with it.
I love Alfredo. The pasta, not the man. Not the cloying crap you get frozen, or at The Awful Garden, the stuff you make at home. People are sometimes picky when it comes to the cream sauce.
Those two words should only be spoken when ice cream is involved, or you are in direct vicinity of a vampire. Which is never. So just the one time.
I also love Fra Diavolo.
I would not put it past me to make and enjoy both of these pastas side by side. I am a glutton. I have been known to go to one fast food joint for a sandwich, and then to another because I like their fries better. Ah, America. We are a spoiled, gross bunch. After two seconds of thought, I was disappointed in myself for having never put these two together. Sometimes obvious things are the ones that stay just beyond arm’s length.
Let’s just say these two sauces hugged like a solider back from deployment, and his wife.
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 9 ounces fresh fettuccine
• 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Bring 1 cup of the heavy cream and the butter to a simmer in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the mixture reduces to 2/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
2. While the cream reduces, bring 4 1/2 quarts water to a rolling boil, covered, in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until just shy of al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, return the cream mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low and add the Parmesan, and nutmeg to the cream mixture.
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
* Have this ready just as the Fra Diavolo is ready.
* I used Chateau Michelle Sauvignon Blanc.
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
14 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
7 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 2⁄3 cups dry white wine
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Leaves from 2 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add garlic and shallots to skillet and cook until soft, 3–5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, wine, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if liquid starts to boil too rapidly, until sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
2. Add parsley, red pepper flakes, pasta, Alfredo sauce, and shrimp to skillet and toss well. Add reserved pasta water if needed. (I didn’t) Divide pasta between two plates (or four, depending on the number of diners), arranging half the shrimp on each plate.
3. Garnish with a little Parm, and parsley, and grab some crusty bread.
adapted from Saveur