I really should make homemade pasta more often than I do. I guess I forget about it most of the time, but I also tend to (mistakenly) think that it is time-consuming. Sure, it takes more time to prepare than pasta from a box, but it actually is not as time- or labor-intensive as it may seem. This particular meal was made on a Saturday when I was in a bit of a funk and couldn’t decide what to make for dinner. After much discussion, we settled on this – homemade fettuccine with alfredo sauce and grilled chicken. And from the time the decision was made, to the time we were sitting down to eat, it was not much more than an hour, including a trip to the store for eggs. Not surprisingly, this fabulous meal pulled me right out of my funk!
This was my first time making alfredo sauce at home. As much as I love it, I can rarely justify the fat and calories to eat it often. But sometimes you need to splurge a little! I actually preferred this to the thick, sometimes gooey sauce served in restaurants. It still had a wonderful flavor but was much lighter (in texture, but not calories!) I added some smashed garlic to the pan while my sauce cooked and it infused a wonderful garlicky flavor. If you do prefer a thicker sauce, you could simply make a roux before adding the cream to the pan to achieve your desired consistency. This recipe makes quite a lot of pasta, so I would say this serves at least 4-5 people, or 2 for dinner plus leftovers later :)
Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken
1 batch basic egg pasta
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the alfredo sauce:
3 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking the pasta. While you are waiting, cook the chicken breasts. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook until brown on one side, 3-5 minutes. Then flip and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through, an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and let rest for a few minutes. Cut into small strips. Cover with foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
Once the pasta water is boiling, cook the pasta until al dente. (Homemade pasta can cook very quickly, so check frequently to be sure it is the texture you would like.)
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cream, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve fresh pasta topped with the alfredo sauce and grilled chicken pieces. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs, if desired.