This version of the classic Italian-American dish, fettuccine alfredo, is significantly lighter than the original, but you'd never know by tasting it. The key to this recipe is cooking the pasta risotto-style, which coaxes the starch out of the fettuccine to create the rich and creamy basis for the sauce. After the pasta is done cooking, a touch of milk (or light cream) and a sprinkle of cheese are the finishing touches for this endlessly comforting dish.
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound fettuccine
- 1/2 cup whole milk or light cream, gently warmed
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, grated finely
- 1/4 cup parmesan, grated finely
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Simmer the broth in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat.
Meanwhile, sauté the garlic in oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium-low heat. When the garlic starts to turn golden-brown, add the pasta and toast lightly for about a minute. Add the broth, 1 ladle at a time, to the pasta and stir continuously to release the starches and prevent clumping — make sure all of the broth is incorporated fully before adding another ladleful. Begin checking the pasta for doneness after about 10 minutes; be careful not to overcook it.
Remove the pasta pan from the heat and mix in the warm milk (or cream) and cheeses until they melt. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.