Thursday, April 26, 2007

Creamy White Sauce Pasta

As requested by Nee of Kuching (ha, trying to sound international), here are two simple classic white-sauce pasta you can cook up in a jiffy. They are basically the same except carbonara has eggs in it and because I cannot resist not heating the pasta again after tossing it with the egg mixture, I always end up with curdled sauce so personally I prefer the alfredo.

Two things to note:

1. Never use the grated parmesan in those green canisters. The smell always makes me look around the room for babies regurgitating their milk. Freshly ground parmesan is not smelly at all and if you use parmesan reggiano (Parmigiano-Reggiano) this'll be your best pasta alfredo/carbonara ever. I sometimes throw in leftover/remaining cheddar to enhance the tastiness.

2. You can add some crispy-fried bacon or fried parma ham strips, and fried mushrooms or peas etc to make it more lavish.

Fettucine alla Alfredo

250g fettucine (serves 2 big eaters)
150ml heavy cream
50g freshly grated parmesan plus extra to serve
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter

1. Boil the pasta in salted water until 'el dente'. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pot at medium heat. Add half the cream, stir well for a minute or so till cream thickens a little, then add the parmesan and nutmeg, salt and pepper, stirring well. When it begins to bubble, add the pasta, tossing well.
3. Now add the remaining cream and when it just begins to steam, remove from the fire. Adjust taste with salt and pepper if necessary.
4. Serve immediately with extra grated or shaved parmesan on the side.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

250g spaghetti (or other shapes)
2 eggs
50g freshly grated parmesan plus extra to serve
150ml heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk together eggs, parmesan and cream, season with salt and pepper.
2. Cook pasta in salted water till el dente.
3. Drain pasta well and quickly add in the egg mixture when the pasta is still hot. Toss well and season to taste.


nee said...

thanks aunty terry...will let you know how these turn up...recently bought myself a noodle maker, think can make spaghetti and fettucine and lasagne noodles..can wait to try it out with the recipes....

Anonymous said...

terri, pardon my ignorance but what is 'el dente"?

Terri Hong said...

I don't know the exact translation but it means the pasta still has a bite, or firmness ie not soft. Got it? The Chinese call it 'song ngar' or firm to the teeth. Something like tt.

Anonymous said...

The term is "al dente" and literally means toothy. Dente are teeth.

"el dente" is what your car gets when you run into a camel.

I am concerned at the inclusion of cream into most of the recipes here. The Italians rarely use cream in their sauces, it is a psuedo French inclusion and very unhealthy.

Cream is totally unnecessary, especially in the Carbonara which gets its smoothness from the egg lightly cooked on the hot pasta.

terri@adailyobsession said...

anon: thanx for d info :) creamy pasta sauces are popular with kids n teens. older ones usually prefer the simpler but elegant taste of tomato or oil n garlic .

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