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Happy Belated Fettuccine Alfredo Day

February 8, 2011

Imagine my horror when I realized that February 7th had slipped by and I had missed National Fettuccine Alfredo Day! We ate pasta with leftover roasted chicken, mushrooms, spinach and bacon, and instead we should have celebrated with Chef Alex Young’s Chicken Alfredo.

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Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms and Heirloom Tomatoes

created by Chef Alex Young of Zingerman’s Roadhouse

1 bag Al Dente Pasta (10-12 oz of pasta)
1 lb. chicken breasts, sliced into strips
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
8 oz mushrooms of choice, sliced
3/4 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup Parmigiano, grated
1 tomato, seeded and diced
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice, chopped

Season chicken strips with salt and pepper and sauté in 2
tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until cooked and lightly
browned. Remove chicken but keep warm. Add 2 tbsp.
olive oil, garlic and shallots to pan and sauté for one
minute. Add mushrooms, sautéing for 3 minutes. Add white
wine. Reduce by half. Add heavy cream simmering until
cream has thickened. Cook the pasta in boiling salted
water for 3 minutes. Drain, then toss pasta and chicken with
sauce. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Garnish
with tomatoes and herbs. Enjoy.

This recipe could easily be cut in 1/2 to serve for a romantic Valentines day for two because everyone LOVES this dish.

You could also check out  Peggy Lampman’s recipe for Reduced-Fat Alfredo. When I want to go “low-fat” I simply substitute half and half for the cream and call it a day. That’s what I do, for example, in my Pasta with Ham and Peas, which I consider a variation on Fettuccine Alfredo.

Lisa, Al Dente's first employee serves up Al Dente Pasta with Ham and Peas

Lisa Marra serving Al Dente Pasta with Ham and Peas

1 bag Al Dente® Pasta

2 tbsp. butter

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 cups diced ham

1 cup heavy cream or half and half

16 oz. bag of frozen peas

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

toasted almonds or pinenuts for garnish.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a skillet, melt butter over low heat. Saute onion, stirring until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and cream. In the meantime, add pasta and peas to boiling, salted water. Test pasta after 3 minutes. When “tender, but firm”, drain and toss pasta and peas with cream mixture and Parmesan Cheese. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with toasted nuts, if desired.

serves 6

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