Created in Rome, Italy, Alfredo sauce is a delicious creamy white sauce made from butter, cream and parmesan cheese. Very rich and highly caloric, Alfredo is usually tossed with freshly cooked pasta and served as a side dish. Americans have adapted the basic recipe to make it more of a main dish, adding ingredients such as fresh Roma or sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, ham, shrimp, crab and chicken. Though very easy to make, homemade Alfredo sauce is guaranteed to impress any dinner guest.
Things You'll Need
Wooden cooking spoon
Small mixing bowl
Large serving bowl
Purchase the needed ingredients at the market: 1 lb. of dry pasta (fettuccine or linguine), 1 lb. butter, 1.5 lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp (uncooked), a bulb of fresh garlic, 1 pint heavy whipping cream, 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Before leaving home, make sure you have garlic salt, milk, salt, black pepper and Tabasco sauce available; if not buy those as well.
Fill the 6-quart pot about three-quarters full of water. Add ½ tsp. salt and set on the stove at medium-high. When the water is boiling rapidly, add the pasta and cook eight to 10 minutes or until al dente (which means cooked but still firm). As each brand of pasta has different recommended cooking times, be sure to read the label and watch the clock carefully. When done, pour the cooked pasta into the large colander to drain.
While the pasta cooks begin preparation for the sauce. Remove two sticks of butter from the refrigerator and sit on the counter to soften. Remove four cloves of garlic from the bulb and remove the papery outer skin. Cut off the brown tips. Mince all four garlic cloves and set aside.
Measure out ¾ cup of the Romano cheese and ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese; pour into the small mixing bowl and set aside. Pour shrimp into the small colander, rinse thoroughly with cold water and let it drain over the sink.
About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in the large saucepan and melt. Sauté the shrimp and garlic in butter over low heat for about one minute. Add the other stick of butter to the pan and continue stirring until melted. Add cream, salt, pepper, garlic salt and Tabasco to taste. Stir thoroughly. Add grated cheeses and stir until melted and the sauce thickens (about two minutes).
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat thoroughly. Place the cooked pasta in a serving bowl and serve immediately. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper if desired. The recipe serves six as a side dish, or three to four as a main course.
Be careful not to overcook pasta when boiling (cooking continues once pasta has been added to the sauce).
Follow safe food handling procedures. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water both before you begin cooking and after handling raw seafood. Refrigerate leftovers immediately to avoid risk of bacterial growth and possible food poisoning.