Tuesday, 30 December 2014
One of the staples I used to exist on when I was student. And my kids absolutely love it and make it now they are students. Really simple, very rich and creamy, and even though I have been making it for years, I have always just "thrown" everything together up until now. It is only the discipline of writing this blog that has got me to think about the actual proportions needed. In other words, this is another classic Italian dish you can't really go wrong with. So don't get too anal about the measurements below.
30g Softened Unsalted Butter
200g of pasta (any pasta really, but long varieties such as spaghetti, fetuccini or linguini are most commonly used. Frankly I had run out when I made this one which is why I went for fusili)
50ml of Single Cream, slightly warmed
A Tablespoon of Mascarpone
30g Grated Mild Cheddar
50g Grated Parmessan
100g Button Mushrooms Quartered
100g of Bacon Lardons (or Pancetta cut into cubes)
30g Garden Peas (or Petit pois)
Small Hand full of Chopped Parsley Leaves
Freshly Ground Black Pepper Corns
In a pot of boiling water, cook your pasta through in the usual way. In a separate pan, on a medium heat fry your lardons/pancetta in a knob of butter for about 7 minutes (chortle! chortle! I said "knob" Fnar! Fnar!). Once it starts to crisp up, add your mushrooms (which will mop up what ever fat is in the pan). Dry fry and stir for another 2-3 minutes so they brown up. Then add your 30g of softened butter, cream and mascarpone. Blend together thoroughly. Once combined add your grated cheeses a hand full at a time, stirring until thoroughly melted. I generally do this with a whisk to ensure you end up with a very smooth finish. Once all the cheeses are melted and smooth, add your peas and stir in.
You should now be left with a thick, smooth, creamy sauce (with pancetta/lardons, mushroom bits and peas floating in it). Drain off your cooked pasta and add it to the pan with your "Alfredo"sauce. Mix thoroughly and allow the pasta to absorb some of it by cooking on a low heat for a further minute or two. Stirring continuously so it does not stick or burn.
Serve up, sprinkled with some parmesan and seasoned with ground black pepper and chopped parsley.
A nice variation on this theme that also works well - instead of cheddar, use St Agur blue cheese. Mega!