Fettuccine ricche alla emiliana

December 29, 2013

Fettuccine with Cream and Tomato Sauce

My Dad makes this delicious pasta dish some time between Christmas and New Year every year. Over the years my Dad has modified it quite a bit as a concession to the heart, because he wants it to make your heart happy, your stomach happy and in turn that makes for a happy Dad. Also, who uses 5 eggs in pasta anymore or 3 sticks of butter or whole cream? It’s a wonderful holiday tradition and it wouldn’t be a holiday visit without this scrumptious meal.

Fettuccine dish

Finished Fettuccine dish

This is the original recipe with the modifications [noted].

Dough

1 pound sifted flour

5 eggs [2-3 eggs]

1 teaspoon oil

pinch of salt

Or substitute a similar dry egg pasta.

Sauce

1 1/2 cups butter [1/2 cup or 1 stick]

6 ounce peeled tomatoes, drained [if whole, broken up or canned diced tomatoes]

Salt and pepper

2 ounces green peas, boiled [1/2 cup]

2 ounces sweet pepper, roasted, peeled, cut in strips [from a jar work just as well]

1/4 pound prosciutto (fat and lean), chopped

1/2 cup cream [half and half rather than whole cream]

1 cup of grated Parmesan [or combination of asiago, romano, parmesan]

Preparation:

Dough:

Heap 1 pound of sifted flour on a suitable work surface. Whip 2-3 eggs with a few drops of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Pour the mixture into a well, scooped out of the mound of sifted flour. Kneading manually, bring the flour to the center and continue until the dough reaches a fairly consistent texture. [Add small amounts of warm water as the dough gets dry during the kneading process, this makes up for the extra 2 eggs that we left out.] Dampen a white kitchen towel with warm water , wrap the dough in it and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll and cut the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. [This can be done ahead of time. We use a pasta maker which makes this a fairly efficient process.]

pasta maker

The pasta maker at work

Pasta drying

Pasta drying

Sauce:

Melt half the butter in a pan, add the tomatoes seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas, the sweet pepper strips, and the ham, and cook together for two minutes; remove from heat and keep warm.

Putting it all together

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water, drain when al dente and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Then, in layers, pour over the cream, half the Parmesan, the remaining butter in softened lumps, and, finally, the tomato sauce. Allow to stand a few moments, mix, and serve on warmed plates; pass the remaining Parmesan at the table.

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Serves 6-8

Copyright © 1972, Luigi Carnacina Presents: Italian Home Cooking

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot

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Just Be – Christmas ’11

December 26, 2011

When you change-up a routine, you can experience something completely different and also exactly the same. That’s what happened to me this holiday season.

My family holiday traditions are fairly constant. I’ve written about them before, like in the Christmas Tree Saga of ’08 or ’10. This year because of work commitments I went home to Michigan for Thanksgiving and my folks and sister came to my house for Christmas. This was different, would it work, would there be enough space in my house?

My Mom’s cousin, Father Joe, drove a couple of hours over for lunch one day. They talked about family, reminiscing about people and stories from a long time ago. Then, he’d stop and just look around in wonder that he was actually seeing us. My sister and I mused about what we would talk about at future family gatherings. This was different.

Mom and Father Joe

My Dad made his famous homemade fettuccine dish. Noodles from scratch and the simple cream sauce is just heaven. This was the same.

Homemade fettuccine

Homemade fettuccine

We used Skype for the first time to connect with the other two family units. Seeing them and talking to them made it a more personal holiday call than just via phone alone. Seeing the kids playing with their presents and talking about them, you see the light and excitement in their eyes. Maybe we can keep up these video calls, to keep this more personal form of communication going. This was different.

And then, when it’s time for a break, we can all sit around the living room and read a book or a newspaper or an iPad and just be; be content, be quiet, be together. With family, you can be yourself, you can be happy, you can be moody, you can be incredulous, you can be laughing at them and you can be laughing with them. It’s also a sure bet that you’ll be teased by them. This was the same.

The best thing about my holiday was that amidst all the new logistics, fun visits, great food, I could also just be!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Tree '11


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