What many of you may not know… is that I spent the majority of my childhood living in Europe with my parents and brother due to my dad’s military career. I’ve had a few people over the years say they felt sorry for us in that we moved every 3-4 years… but I loved it. Loved learning about new cultures, experiencing new foods, and making new friends. The trouble is once you’ve had an authentic dish it becomes challenging or frustrating when you order it or make it and it just doesn’t taste the same. While in Germany for a second stint my girl friends (Angela, Jennifer & Teresa) discovered a fabulous Italian restaurant within walking distance of our housing community – that we nicknamed the “4 leaf clover“. The restaurant had a four- leaf clover sign outside the restaurant that we could never quite figure out the point of, thus the nickname. I ordered the same dish every time I went there tortellini in alfredo sauce. Their pasta was handmade and the alfredo sauce was to die for.
I have tried numerous Italian restaurants (both hole in the wall places and 5-star restaurants) in search of the taste of the dish from my teenage years. Needless to say while I have enjoyed some great Italian meals I have yet to find one that matches my memories of that meal from years past. I’m convinced it’s due to needing fresh ingredients that aren’t available or are not the same quality or taste available here. That said I have found a great alfredo sauce recipe that my whole family enjoys – I usually add it to Fettuccine noodles. There are never left-overs and it’s not that complicated to make… I hope you all enjoy it.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups 2% milk
- 1 1/4 cups grated fresh parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (8 ounces uncooked) – I use whole wheat pasta
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- black pepper
- Cook pasta according to box instructions
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk.
- Cook approximately 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
- Add 1 cup parmigiano- reggiano cheese, cream cheese, and salt stirring with a whisk until cheese melts.
- Toss sauce with hot pasta
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese and parsley
- Garnish with black pepper (optional)
Chef note: I have used skim milk and low-fat cream cheese and didn’t really notice a significant difference for those of you wanting a lighter option. Also, this recipe feeds my family of 5 with no left-overs.