This recipe comes from the magazine Cooking Light.
The personal touches are indicated by italics.
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (I used fresh, regular button mushrooms and it was still very good. vouched for by James)
12 oz. fettuccine pasta
1/2 cup whipping cream (or half-and-half)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 T. grated parmesan-reggiano cheese (i used just regular parmesan and it tastes delicious)
2 T. chives
1. if you’re using fresh mushrooms: Boil 1/2 cup water. Add mushrooms. Let boil for 5-10 minutes. Drain in colinder over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Put mushrooms aside.
if you’re using dried mushrooms: boil 1/2 cup water. add mushrooms to boiling water. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain in colinder over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Put mushrooms aside.
the purpose overall is to get the water to develop that mushroom taste so it can be used in the sauce later, that’s why I think it’s okay to use either fresh or dried mushrooms. Although I’m sure a wiser cook than I would say differently. Anyway…moving on.
2 . Cook pasta according to the package. When you go to drain the water after the pasta is done, reserve 1/4 of the water in a bowl. Cool off the pot, then return pasta to the pot.
3. Combine mushrooms and whipping cream in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer. Stir in salt, pepper and reserved mushroom water. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened (you can also add a little bit of flour to help thicken the sauce).
4. Add pasta water. Add chives, half of the parmesan cheese and even throw in some garlic to taste.
5. Pour sauce over pasta and mix well. Add the rest of the parmesan cheese and garnish with thyme or extra chives.
Can be served with a side salad.
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I also added chicken to make it a chicken alfredo – and to do that: take chicken tenderloins, sautee them. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then cut them up into mite-size chunks and mixed it in.
Also, I found this made a little too little in proportion to the pasta. So if you’re using fresh mushrooms it’s easy to quickly boil water, toss in the mushrooms and add a little extra whipping cream and water.