Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicken Alfredo

I guess I was a little bored yesterday. It's not like I didn't have floors to clean, laundry to do, and a ton of running around. I just felt like cooking. My sixteen year old daughter loves Alfredo. And to think back to it, so do I. There are some great memories of my best friend and I sitting in a chain Italian restaurant, dipping bread into a bowl of Alfredo sauce. Talking the gossip for hours. I wanted that comfort. So off to my kitchen I went. There is something to be said about fresh grated Parmesan. The smell of it is just...amazing. Sometimes I think I should have been Italian. I love it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a good little Irish girl, who loves her potatoes as much as the Virgin Mary but Italian food is a close second in my heart.

Alfredo is very simple to make. In fact, in the time you can open up a jar of the store bought stuff, doctor it up (which is what I used to do) you can make it home made. Just refrain from eating it from the pan before the noodles are even done (guilty) because you will want all that extra sauce for the noodles. I fry up some chicken tenders (dredge them in seasoned flour first) and then add them to the finished dish. But the kids always tell me I could forget the meat all together. Silly kids. I have tweaked this down to the most favorable with out using cream. I have tried it with less fattening milk and it just isn't as good so just will yourself that you may need to do a little extra at the gym the next morning. I do not have a picture as we were not as organized this time and ate it before I could remember that I have a blog.

Penne Alfredo
1 lb Penne Rigato Pasta (whole wheat is good too)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 small onion minced
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 cup flour
3 cup (approx) whole milk
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Start boiling your water for pasta. The Pasta will cook while you make the sauce.
Sweat the onions in a little olive oil. Do not brown the onions. You want to cook them but not add any color so do this over medium heat and be patient. Add the garlic when the onions are just done. You do not want to brown the garlic as it makes it bitter. Add butter to the pan and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and using a whisk incorporate it. It will make a paste. Add the milk, slowly. Keep stirring the entire time. You may need to add more or less milk. I eye ball it. When it is a gravy consistency, turn off the heat and add all the cheese. Your pasta should be ready to drain, add it to the sauce and serve.
I add chicken and sometimes vegetables.
I like to pour it into a casserole dish and add some bread crumbs to the top, cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Do not over cook it in the oven.


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