a tale of emergency alfredo

Once upon a time, in my first job after college, I dated a guy a little younger than me who worked at a coffee shop. He never had anything really in his fridge. But, a really nice boyfriend! Very nice looking, considerate, supportive, and we both loved seeing new art and hanging out at the parks to see sunsets. He painted (albeit badly) and tolerated my singing. Oh yes, I know you are now nauseous. On with the food!

I was visiting him one Saturday afternoon, hungry as ever. The fridge contained very little. However, I spied a clove of garlic, some Kraft Parmesan cheese, and oh my(!) half-and-half. I’m sure the half-and-half must have belonged to his roommate. Whatever. I stole it with impunity and utter righteousness. These unpromising materials became a meal full of affection.

  • 1/2 cup of half-and-half;
  • 2 cloves of garlic;
  • 1/4 cup of lame grated Parmesan;
  • 1/4 lb of cooked linguine or fettucine;
  • salt; and
  • 1/4 tsp, (or, as much as you like) of black pepper.

Mince, then, saute the garlic at a medium high heat in a small skillet. Start adding a few tablespoons of the half-and-half to the skillet. As the volume reduces, continuously stir – do not leave the stove! Continously reduce and add more half-and-half. Add the Parmesan as you go. Add black pepper to the sauce. Add the linguine to the skillet. Let the pasta absorb the sauce before serving.

Add visual appeal to the dish by sprinking pepper in the center of the linguine – in an emergency, you might not have parsley on hand. As you might guess, the key to this alfredo is the constant reduction of the sauce – this is a situation in which you might not have flour and butter to make a proper roux.

The epilogue to this alfredo tale? His roommates were really jealous of the great smells emanating from the kitchen, and tried to get him to part with some of the noodles. Of course, it didn’t work!


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