It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
Ask most Italians about fettuccini alfredo and they are likely to not recognize what you are talking about. Or at best they may shudder since they don’t recognize the often gloppy cheese and cream sauce that covers pasta as being remotely Italian. They would say it is Italian American cooking and nothing like what Grandma used to make. Personally, I’ve always found alfredo sauce to be too rich so rarely have I partaken in this American pasta tradition. But when time is tight I do whip up my own take on the dish and think it is so much better.
My version is inspired by The Splendid Table and is fast, delicious and decidedly not covered in thick sauce. With all of butter and the cheese is it still decidedly rich but an occasional splurge never hurt anyone. I prefer to use fresh pasta; not only does it cook faster but I think it tastes better as well.
“SAUCELESS” FETTUCCINI ALFREDO
1 pound fettuccini
3/4 cup diced pancetta
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the fettuccini according to package instructions. Drain and return to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, saute the pancetta in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Once the pancetta is crispy, turn off the heat and add the butter, allowing it to melt.
- Pour the butter and pancetta mixture over the cooked pasta and toss well to coat.
- Sprinkle with the red chili pepper flakes then add the grated parmesan cheese, again tossing well to coat.
- Serve immediately.