Legend has it that in Italy in 1914, a man named Alfredo di Lelio was trying to cook something that would please his pregnant wife. He created a sauce made from parmesan cheese and butter and poured it over some fettuccine. One day, a couple of american tourists discovered Alfredo and his recipe and with his permission, brought it to the USA. And the rest, as they say, was history. Funny enough, since Alfredo only created this for his wife and small restaurant way back then, it isn’t a staple in today’s Italian culture, like it is in American-Italian culture. I couldn’t find Alfredo anywhere I personally traveled to in Italy.
When I finally thought I had perfected my recipe, I sought out to make it for my S.O and his family for our Italian dinner night, and hopefully please their taste-buds just as Alfredo did for his pregnant wife! Earlier that day, I accidentally was served crab at a restaurant we were at for lunch. Unfortunately, I am allergic to shellfish, so through a small panic I was given a few pills of Benadryl and everything turned out to be OK… except, well, my dish. Drugged up and drowsy while shopping for ingredients at Wegmans, I picked up half-and-half instead of heavy cream like I have listed below, and my sauce was not its usual creamy perfection but a clumpy mess. My S.O claims he loved it and still ate it the next day – and I believe him (even if he’s just trying to make me happy :)), but it wasn’t the magic you’re about to experience below!
Serving size: 3-4 servings
Time: 40 Minutes
- Vegetable Saute: one zucchini, 5 oz (1/2 regular size bag) of baby spinach, 15 cherry tomatoes
- Pasta: 1/2 box of Linguine, olive oil
- Pesto: prepared, 1/4 cup
- butter: 3 tbsp
- heavy cream: 1/3 cup
- milk: 1 1/4 (one and one fourth) cups
- grated parmesan cheese: 1 1/2 (one and one half) cups
- whole wheat flour: 2 tbsp
- Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder
- In a pot: place water, 2 tsp salt, and 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- Let water come to a boil.
- Place linguine in water and let cook until Al Dente, or however well done you prefer.
- Drain, and set aside.
Vegetable sauté :
- Dress pan with 1 tbsp olive oil; keep over medium heat.
- Slice zucchini and cherry tomatoes and place in pan.
- Place baby spinach in pan.
- Cover pan and let simmer, stir every one or two minutes.
- Once vegetables are golden brown, take pan off of heat and let stand.
- Garnish vegetables with a little bit of salt and pepper (I just sprinkle a pinch or two of each, stir, and set aside).
Alfredo Pesto Sauce:
- Place pan over medium to low heat.
- Melt butter.
- Stir in milk, heavy cream, and whole wheat flour.
- Bring pan to medium-high heat.
- Stir in parmesan cheese until it melts and sauce is smooth.
- At this point, I am at a consistency that I like. If you feel your sauce is too thin, add a both a tbsp of heavy cream and a tbsp of parmesan cheese until you’re at a consistency that you prefer.
- Once the sauce starts to bubble and cheese is melted, turn heat back down to medium-low.
- Stir in pesto.
- Sprinkle in 1 tsp of garlic powder, and pinches of salt and pepper until you are satisfied with the taste. Sauce is all about taste testing at the end!
Now, I like to stir the vegetable sauté into my sauce, and then pour my sauce over the linguine. Prepare any sides as you wish, and I recommend a dry red wine to pair. Salut!