While I’m away at SeaWorld Orlando today, our very special Guest, Tricia from Return to Disney, is stopping by with a recipe inspired by a restaurant that used to be located at Epcot’s Italy Pavilion. I personally cannot wait to try this out, because Alfredo is a favorite dish of my two younger children! Please give Tricia a warm welcome! P.S. You may recognize Tricia from the Magical Blogorail.
On the menu today: Alfredo a la Epcot. The inspiration for this dish was served at L’Originale ALfredo di Roma Ristorante, which used to be located in the Italy pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant closed in August, 2007, but you can still enjoy their signature dish at home.
This recipe is a little different from any other Alfredo I’ve made. Most fettuccine Alfredo sauces are made with cream. This sauce is made with nothing but butter and Parmesan cheese! I’ve added my own touches with carrots, snow peas, garlic, and herbs. I also changed the sauce a bit, using both powdered and fresh grated Parmesan. I’ll slice the bread and serve it on the side.
First, I start the water boiling for the noodles. They will cook while I make the sauce. My personal belief in recipes is that they are, to quote Elizabeth Swann, “more like guidelines anyway” so right off the bat, I start changing things around. I’ll melt about two tablespoons of butter over low heat: While the butter melts, I smash two cloves of garlic and chop them finely. Next, I add the chopped garlic to the butter and saute just until the garlic begins to soften. The house smells wonderful at this point! When the garlic is soft, I’ll add the carrots.
Saute until the carrots are al dente – soft but still have a little crunch to them. Add a teaspoon or so of thyme. Sorry that’s not in the ingredient shot – it’s a last minute addition! I go back to the book at this point and beat two sticks of softened butter (nobody said this was low-fat!) and both types of Parmesan cheese in the stand mixer.
I set this aside until the fettuccine noodles are finished. Next I pull out about a cup of the pasta water and set it aside while I drain the noodles. After draining the noodles, I’ll return them to the pasta pot and add the cheese and butter mixture. This is where this recipe gets interesting! Normally, I’d have made a thick cream based sauce with butter, Parmesan, and a little pepper. This recipe calls for just the butter and cheese. I’ll gently mix the butter and cheese into the noodles, letting the heat from the pasta melt the butter. Finally, I’ll add the secret ingredient – about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water! Just a little bit of water with the starch from the noodles will give the sauce the creaminess you’d expect from an Alfredo. I’ll toss to coat the noodles, then add the sauteed carrots and garlic. Finally, I’ll top it off with the raw pea pods for crunch and a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan. Half an hour in the kitchen and I’m back in Epcot!
Thank you for being our Guest today, Tricia! We hope you’ll join us again sometime!