The evening before I moved to Ireland, I was nurtured and nourished by our friend MA and The Pastaria & Market in Los Gatos, California. The fettucine alfredo I ate there renewed my love of the dish and its flavors, but I was then too far away to dine there again and needed to learn to make it at home. This is what I came up with. It took a few attempts but I think I’ve succeeded so I’ve named this recipe after the town where I fell in love with alfredo all over again.
Los Gatos Alfredo Sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk (use whole fat milk for the full effect)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated or shredded parmesan plus some for sprinkling on top
Fresh herbs (parsley or basil) for garnish
1. Warm the vegetable broth to room temperature or slightly warmer then stir in the shallots. Set aside.
2. Over low heat, melt butter in a somewhat deep saucepan. Once it has melted completely, stir in the flour little-by-little to create the roux base. Stir constantly with a fork or whisk. Then pour in the broth little-by-little, stirring constantly to blend thoroughly. Follow that with pouring in the milk while stirring to integrate it evenly. Finally, stir in the pepper and nutmeg. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and let simmer for ten minutes.
3. While the mixture is simmering, cook the pasta. Linguine is lovely with this.
4. After 10 minutes of simmering, stir in the parmesan gradually and stir to melt. Keep the cheese from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once melted, taste the soup with a fresh spoon. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg or cheese to suit your desired flavor. If you like how it tastes, toss with the freshly strained pasta and serve hot. Garnish with fresh herbs and more parmesan cheese on top.
Lovely with chicken, shrimp, or lobster.
Note: As with other pasta dishes, I usually toss the pasta in a bit of olive oil with a dab of butter once it has been drained if it is ready before the sauce then add the sauce to the larger pasta pan to mix the two and coat the pasta with the sauce. I never rinse pasta with cold water when adding it to a sauce. It just seems so harsh. I know I wouldn’t want to jump in a cold shower after getting out of a hot bath.