If my family would put up with it, we’d have pasta every night for dinner.
I love it so much.
Especially when paired with a warmed crusty bread and plenty of room temp butter. (For ease of spreading, of course.)
There are a zillion delicious ways to eat pasta, and I happen to love all of them.
ALL. OF. THEM.
A favorite, however, will always be a creamy, Parmesan-y, Alfredo.
Tossed with fettuccine. Because, of course.
Easy enough to throw together on a busy weeknight (it’s ready in less than 30 minutes!!!), but also polished enough to serve at a dinner party with cocktails and friends.
One of the obvious protein toppers (if you don’t want to simply gorge on carbs and Alfredo, which — by the way — is perfectly fine with me) is a seared chicken breast. Tons of flavor, super juicy, and easy.
Seared shrimp work, too. And they’re ready in minutes.
- 1 8oz box fettuccine
- 2 tablespoons salt + 1/2 teaspoon
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Set a large pot of water with the 2 tablespoons of salt to boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine once the water is at a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and continue boiling for 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, but don’t forget to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water beforehand! Put the pasta back into the pot.
- While the pasta’s cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and the mushrooms and cook them until the mushrooms soften (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper to the mushrooms and onions, stirring to combine (it will look pasty). Continue to let it cook for a minute (this helps get rid of the flour taste).
- Pour the milk into the pasty mixture all at once, add the parsley, and then whisk until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a light boil – whisking often – until it’s thick and bubbly. Remove the sauce from heat and then whisk in the Parmesan.
- Add the Alfredo sauce and the pasta water to the cooked fettuccine and use tongs to make sure the pasta is evenly coated. Serve with sliced seared chicken breast, a big salad, and buttered crusty Italian bread.
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- Salt and pepper both sides of each piece of chicken.
- Once the skillet is hot, place the chicken breasts into the pan. Let them cook for 4 minutes, flip them, and then let them cook for another 4 minutes. If your chicken breasts are extra huge, they might need 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the seared chicken breasts from the pan, and set them aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
If you're worried about using whole milk because OHMIGOSH FAT (please, don't be), you can try using 2%. When you're making creamy sauces, they need the fat from the dairy to bind the sauce together; if you lessen the fat, you risk your sauce breaking. Just use the whole milk (or upgrade to heavy cream!)
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