Thursday, November 15, 2007

Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

In an effort to combine Michael's love of fettuccine alfredo and our need for more green vegetables, I found this recipe for broccoli fettuccine alfredo on the Real Simple website. It is delicious and is a great 30-minute meal. I changed the recipe slightly by adding a little pesto to make the sauce a bit creamier and more flavorful, and doubled the red pepper to make it spicier. The three of us can polish off the whole thing in one sitting so you may want to double the recipe if you are cooking for a larger group.

And a John moment connected to this dish: John is old enough now that we pretty much offer him whatever we are eating for dinner as long as it doesn't have tomato sauce on it (a diaper rash trigger). Unfortunately last night when I made this I forgot to set aside some unseasoned pasta for him before coating it with the pepper. During our meal the pepper would irritate him and he would make it worse by rubbing it all over his face and fussing, but then would get upset if I tried to take the pasta away from him. Apparently he really liked it despite his discomfort. He spent about 10 minutes after dinner walking around with this tongue stuck out like a puppy and asking for his milk.

Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo
Real Simple
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 1-pound box dry whole wheat fettuccine
4 cups (8 ounces) broccoli florets
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Place the salt in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package directions for al dente. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli. Drain in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the water; set aside. Place the butter in the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir until melted. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, then stir in pesto and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Add the fettuccine and broccoli and the cayenne and nutmeg; toss. Remove from heat and sprinkle with another 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the pepper. Toss again, adding more pasta water if the fettuccine is too sticky. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

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