Staff Writer & Photographer
The cold months are coming to an end, but homemade pasta with alfredo sauce is good all year round! This is an easy delicious recipe that will impress anyone you make it for. You start with three easy ingredients:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- A pinch of salt
Now you’re ready to begin your masterpiece.
On a work surface, pour the flour into a mound, and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs carefully into the well, making sure that the sides of the well are high enough so the eggs don’t spillover. Add a generous pinch of salt to the eggs. With a fork, gently whisk the eggs in a circular motion, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Not all of the flour will get absorbed into the eggs. You should stop when you have a sticky mass of dough. Scrape all of the dough together into a ball and begin kneading it, spreading a little of the extra flour over the work surface if the dough begins to stick. Knead the dough by pressing firmly into it with the heel of your hand, folding the dough over towards you, giving it a quarter turn, and repeating the pressing and folding motion. Continue kneading for three to four minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and let rest 20 minutes on the countertop.
Set up your pasta machine and turn the dial to the widest setting (usually setting number 1 on the dial). If you do not have a pasta machine do not worry you can roll it yourself that thin but it takes longer (I suggest looking up a video to see how it’s done before trying it). Divide the pasta dough into four pieces. Working with the first piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) flatten it into a rectangle shape. Starting with one of the shorter sides of the rectangle, feed it through the rollers. When you’ve folded and rolled the piece of dough five times, then begin rolling it thinner, by turning the dial to the next narrowest setting (most likely number 2). Roll the pasta through the machine. At this point, it’s best to work with a helper, so one person can turn the crank and the other person can guide the dough into the machine with one hand and catch it with the other hand, being careful not to stretch or tear the sheet. Without folding the dough between settings, keep reducing the settings until the dough is rolled as thinly as you’d like (you do not have to go to the thinnest setting on the machine). If the sheet of pasta gets too long, you can cut it in half with a knife or a dough scraper—otherwise, you’ll end up with unmanageably long noodles. Attach the noodle-cutting attachment to the pasta machine according to your manual’s instructions. Then, feed the thinly rolled sheet of pasta into the cutting attachment, catching the pasta by draping them over your hands as they’re cranked out of the machine (again, it’s helpful to have another person helping to turn the crank). Repeat the entire process with the remaining pieces of dough. Add a small handful of salt to the boiling water and add your pasta. Fresh pasta does not take more than 2 to 3 minutes to cook; it’s done when it lightens in color and is “al dente” (firm, but tender) to the bite.
While water comes to a boil, bring 1 cup heavy cream and butter to simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer gently until mixture reduces to 2/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water; cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta. Meanwhile, return cream mixture to simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and add pasta, Parmesan, and nutmeg to cream mixture. Cook over low heat, tossing pasta with tongs to combine, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is just a little past al dente( this is what I prefer but if you want al dente pasta then cook them shorter in the water) and cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta cooking water; sauce may look rather thin but will gradually thicken as pasta is served and eaten. Divide pasta among bowls, tossing pasta to coat well with the sauce.
The last step you need for this meal to be complete is some yummy garlic bread to soak up all the sauce after you finish your pasta. All you need a loaf of Italian bread ( this is the bread I prefer but use what you like), half a stick of butter and garlic powder. The first step is to put the oven on 350 and then cut the bread in half horizontally. Melt half of the stick of butter then add garlic powder to the butter, there no exact measurement when it comes to the garlic it’s up to you how garlicky you want it. I like using a pastry brush to brush on the butter garlic mixture until you evenly distributed the butter into the bread. Put the pieces back together and wrap in aluminum foil on a baking pan into the oven for eight minutes. Then take out of the oven, open the bread up, put the pieces on the baking pan with the buttered side facing up and cook for another seven minutes. From there look at it and decide if it is good enough for you you might need the other 3 minutes to get crisper. Once done cut vertically and enjoy with your pasta.
You should note this recipe makes the perfect amount for four people. Now you’re ready to enjoy pasta with alfredo sauce and a side of garlic bread. Bon Appetit!