Well I guess that's it for me till the spring comes. My last day to eat the beloved food of my homeland. Or rather, any food of the world except Portuguese. Mario and I have a rule that the first person home from work starts dinner. (I insisted on this rule because I am a feminist and I will not be taken for granted!) And this is why I blaze out of the work parking lot at the stroke of 5:00 on the dot leaving a smoke trail behind me as I go. I tear around the final corner on two wheels everyday to try to beat him to the stove. He is a seasonal worker, so if it rains, I'm pretty much out of luck because he'll beat me home for sure. In fact on rainy days, I generally stay a bit later at work and meander my way home on the back roads to try to miss dinner altogether. And now his work season is over and he'll be in charge of dinner until mid April of next year. I can feel my trousers getting baggy on me already and I usually lose a size every winter, only to gain it back again when I get my turn back at the stove!
I'm very certain that Mario's "Portuguese" food is not what you would ever have to eat if you were to actually go there. For certain, they would have no tourists at all. His idea of dinner, seven days of the week is to fill up the biggest pot we own with everything under the sun he can fit into it and never spend more than a dollar on the ingredients. And then boil it for six or seven hours. In fact when we go grocery shopping together, he takes his cart and I take mine and we go our separate ways. We usually meet back at the car. But it has happened on occasion that he was just ahead of me in line and I truly did not recognize most of the icky, slimy looking things he bought. My bill was always triple what he spent and I have the one bag to his six bags. And I'm certain I've seen the eyeballs of a creature of God in my dish a time or two. But God bless his enthusiasm and his dream is to one day open a restaurant of his own! I of course will warn you if this ever were to happen! Hahah So let's make the easiest and yummiest pasta dish there ever was. College students - listen up! You can do this!
For the sauce you need only:
1/2 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
a dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup of Parmesan. Even the powdered stuff works here, but freshly grated is always better.
I use the fresh pasta from the deli section of the grocery store, but make your own if have the time.
This dinner is literally ready in 5 minutes. Bring your salted pasta water up to the boil. While this is heating up, melt the butter and whisk in the cream, salt and pepper and nutmeg. When it comes up just to the simmer, remove it from the heat and whisk in your Parmesan. There. Your sauce is done. Put the pasta into the water when it starts to boil and let it boil for about 3 or 4 minutes and drain it off. (If you use packaged fettuccine, follow the directions on the package. I think its about 20 minutes) After you drain it, add the pasta back to the pot and pour your Alfredo sauce into the pot. Toss it up using your tongs and top with another couple of tablespoons of cheese and some freshly ground pepper. Can you even believe that's all there is too it? It is literally easier than Kraft Dinner! You can serve it with Caesar salad, or any salad you like or grilled or sauteed shrimp. Garlic bread or Bruschetta. It's your call! Make it a side dish or a main. You're the chef!
Okay friends, you all go ahead and enjoy your wonderful and tasty food this winter. I'll just push the offal around my plate and pretend I'm not all that hungry. And once in a while, I promise you I'll boss my way up to the stove and cook up something Wonderful to share with you! (Oh and I just realized I gobbled up my dinner like a hungry savage and forgot to take a photo of it! Soon...)