It's the first dish I cooked for Jodi when we were first dating. At the time, it stretched my culinary skills. Now, it's a great option when I want to cook something relatively simple that is still special. Which came in handy the other day. For B's first day of kindergarten, I asked him what he'd choose for me to make to mark the special day. Without hesitation, he quickly requested "Fettuccine!".
My basic method for making the dish is pretty similar to the first time I made it--I think I was following a box top recipe. I know there are more "proper" ways of making the dish...I know the fettuccine we enjoyed on our honeymoon in Venice wasn't made this way! But this is quick, easy & tasty, a combination not to be tampered with. However, I do now adjust the recipe so that our son with his food allergies can enjoy a dairy free version--yes, that's right, dairy fre
e fettuccine, is pretty tasty! Below I present the regular way to make it along with the dairy-free adjustments.
1 lb fettuccine
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup of grated parmesan or romano cheese*
1 cup heavy cream (or substitute Silk Soy Cream or So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer)
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
Pepper & parsley to taste
Begin boiling water to cook the fettuccine. Meanwhile, steam the vegetables in an inch of boiling water--add the carrots first, broccoli about 4 minutes later. Carrots take about 10 minutes; don't overcook. Drain and set veggies aside.
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain fettuccine. Quickly proceed to adding the cream ingredients. Typically I'd stir in cheese followed by oil then cream. But to make 1 non-dairy portion, I first add the oil and non-dairy cream, then pull out a serving of noodles and combine them separately with the non-dairy parmesan cheese; and then add the dairy cheese to the rest of the noodles.
After stirring in cheese, oil & cream, and getting it to a nice consistency, stir in the veggies, pepper and parsley. If you're using the non-dairy cream, I'd be especially generous with the pepper as the non-dairy cream is a bit on the sweet side (though less so with the coconut milk).
Serve, enjoy and add your own memories!
*Notes: We really like the Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Grated Parmesan Flavor Soy Topping. Unlike most nondairy cheeses, which I find taste like plastic, this adds pretty good flavor. It is pricey though, so even though I like the taste OK, we just make the 1 non-dairy serving with it and use regular cheese for the rest. Take care on soy cheese products if you are trying to be dairy free; many still contain dairy milk proteins.
As to the dairy cheese, for most things I like to get a block of parmesan or romano and grate my own as I needed. But for this dish, the consistency works better if you get the kind that is already ground to a fine consistency.
Wine pairing: We often have a Chardonnay to go with the creaminess of the dish--I like the Russian River versions that tend to have a touch of the butter and oak without overdoing it, plus a hint of minerality. Another we paired with this dish recently is the Vega Sindoa Chardonnay from Spain's Navarra region. A white Rhone based on Roussanne and/or Marsanne also has the body to stand up to this dish if you want something different.