Saturday, January 4, 2014

Alfredo Sauce

Making homemade Alfredo sauce is not hard to do and you have the added bonus of knowing what ingredients are in the sauce.  I was surprised the first time I made this in my kitchen and my family was thrilled to have a great tasting freshly made sauce for our pasta at dinner.

After making a basic B├ęchamel sauce, add cheese and a couple spices and you have the perfect Alfredo sauce designed for your family’s taste.  What more could you ask for!?

2 TBL Flour
2 TBL Clarified butter
2 cups Milk
3 cloves Garlic, minced
¾ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Salt & White Pepper to taste
1 pinch Nutmeg, ground

(These options depend on the flavor profile that you and your family truly like in an Alfredo sauce, so experiment a little to see what works best for you.)
Cayenne Pepper
Substitute or blend Parmigiano-Reggiano with Asiago or Romano

Create the roux.  In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat.  Once the butter is melted add the flour while whisking and still over low heat.  Stir the butter and flour until all is incorporated together.  Allow to cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.

Making the B├ęchamel.  Heat the milk to near boiling.  Add a small amount of hot milk to the heated roux and whisk it together.  While whisking, add the remaining hot milk to the roux.  Continue to whisk briskly until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  If the roux and milk are hot you should not have any issues with lumping.  If it does have lumps, use a blender to smooth it out or put it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.

Now, it's time to make it Alfredo.  Add the garlic, salt and white pepper to taste as well as the nutmeg if you like that addition.  Add any other herbs or spices that you want to include.  Stir in the cheese slowly allowing it to melt as you stir.  Don’t get in a rush over high heat or you will burn it.

Before I serve this I like to pour it over the pasta and allow it to absorb the sauce a little.  I’m also careful not to over season it.  I’ll serve it with salt, pepper and grated cheese on the side so each person can adjust to their own taste.

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