Tag Archives: alfredo sauce

Valentine’s Day: Crazy Sexy Pasta

csp2Original Post – February 7, 2013

Valentine’s Day in our house is a bit of a big deal. It’s our oldest child’s birthday. While we don’t buy each other gifts, there really isn’t anything more loving for a couple to do than celebrate the birth of your child over a wonderful meal.

If you’re looking for something special to make your honey (and your family or even just yourself) on Valentine’s Day, this is the dish for you! It’s very quick and easy and incredibly tasty. This dish is so popular in my house, running out of it has been known to make family members cry. They hide leftovers, or in a more recent development, reserve them.

The combination of the salty pancetta with the creamy sauce will make you drool. I used to make this with the traditional three alfredo ingredients of butter, heavy cream and parmesan. I no longer use the heavy cream but start with the same milk sauce I use in my Mac and Cheese. I won’t call this dish light by any means. It’s fatty fat fattening. But it’s nice to indulge once in a while.

Crazy, Sexy Pasta
1- 16 oz box of interesting pasta like Farfalle or Gemelli
4 oz of pancetta or prosciutto
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 TBSP of olive oil
1/4 cup flour
4 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 – 3/4 cup Parmesan
pepper to taste

1. Start the water boiling for your pasta. This sauce is so fast that you will have it ready in the time it takes your pasta to cook.
2. Combine oil, garlic and pancetta (or prosciutto) in a sauce pan that is big enough to hold the milk and everything else. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes on medium heat. Remove from pan, drain and set aside. Don’t forget your pasta water! You can probably add the pasta now!
3. Melt butter in the same pan.
4. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and let it soak in for a minute. Then gently mix it around.
5. Add the milk. Some people like to add milk in stages and let it thicken. You can do that or just put it all in at once. Reduce heat to medium – low. Stir frequently until it thickens.
6. When your milk sauce (I heard this term the one time I watched Rachael Ray) is the consistency of a thin pudding, add the cheese. Start with a half a cup and add more if desired. Your sauce should look like the picture below.

7. Add the pancetta and garlic into the sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low.
8. Your pasta is probably done! Drain it well, return it to the pot and pour on the sauce and toss it around.
9. Allow people to pepper to taste.
Serve with a nice salad and a light white wine like a Pinot Grigio. You can toss in some steamed asparagus, too. We’ve done that and it’s fantastic!
I want to emphasize how easy this is to make. My 15 year old son has made this. I decided since it’s his favorite dish that he needed to know how to make it himself. So if you are looking for something really elegant to make for a first Valentine’s Day with your honey, and you don’t feel confident with your cooking, this is it!
Are you planning a less romantic Valentine’s Day? This will work for you, too! Just cut everything in half! You’ll have one serving for dinner and enough for one more meal. Or make the whole thing and have everyone over for an Anti-Valentine potluck!

Shrimp Diablo Alfredo Pasta

As you may know, when people in my house are away, we take that opportunity to lessen the agony of their absence by eating things they either can’t or won’t eat.

This week, the wee one is away at what we around these parts call Outdoor Ed. It’s a school week with his classmates learning about the environment and generally bonding right on the Chesapeake Bay. Lucky boy! And lucky us because the wee one can’t eat shrimp. So, when the cat’s away, the mice eat shrimp, or more specifically, the mice create a new recipe called…

Shrimp Diablo Alfredo Pasta
1/2 stick butter
3 or more cloves crushed garlic
1/4 flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup grated parmesan
cayenne pepper to taste
1 lb cooked shrimp
1 lb pasta

1. Start the water for the pasta.
2. Melt the butter and add the garlic and saute for a few minutes on medium.
3. Add the flour and let it sit for a minute. Stir gently until a nice butter floury garlicky paste forms. Your water should be boiling now so add the pasta to it!
4. Add the milk and stir to combine well. Keep stirring until the milk sauce thickens.
5. Add the parmesan. Stir stir stir!
6. Add the cayenne. Stir again! Should have a nice spicy alfredo sauce now.
7. When the pasta is done, drain it and combine with the sauce and shrimp and heat through.

I topped this with some chopped chives. Because I was making this primarily for the teenager who doesn’t like anything but Doritos to be spicy, I didn’t add a ton of cayenne. I probably added 1/4 tsp. I would have added more. And I might have thrown some chopped shallots in with the garlic to make this a really kicky, zesty dish!

I somehow got ridiculously large shrimp. They were easily 4 inches long each. They were “Colossal”. If I had been paying closer attention I would have gotten slightly smaller shrimp.

All in all, it was a very tasty dish and a nice diversion from the regular Alfredo based pasta I make AKA Crazy Sexy Pasta.