Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo doesn’t have veggies in it. It’s a very basic dish, noodles bathed in lovely, creamy sauce. No, it’s not the most healthy, low-fat thing you could choose to eat, although it’s easily one of the most delicious and decadent choices. When I make it for my kids (or for anybody), I feel it’s my responsibility as a good mom to throw a few veggies in there just to balance out all the fattening stuff a tiny bit. A silly rationalization, I know, but it’s not like I make it every day. Just plan to double your workout the next day instead of feeling guilty about it. That’s what I do. Totally worth it.
I normally use fettuccine or linguine noodles for this dish but I had some very cool noodles from Italy, a gift from my sister, so I used those. I’ve never seen these, they are extra long fusilli. Neat, huh? In any case, choose the noodle you like best, but I prefer something you can twirl up on your fork for this one, and the long flat ones work nicely with this kind of sauce.
I’ve been making some version of this for nearly as long as I’ve been cooking for myself, trying to copy good versions I’ve had in restaurants, and improve on the not-so-good ones. I don’t order it in restaurants anymore because I almost always like mine better. Of all the things I make on a regular basis, this is probably the most requested by friends and family. I often add shrimp or chicken in with the veggies, or occasionally I’ll make it plain as a side dish with something else. Today we stuck with the veggie version, using just a few odds & ends I had in the fridge and freezer. Feel free to substitute any combination of fresh or frozen veggies you like.
1 package fettuccine or linguine
1 tbsp. olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (leave this out if you don’t like it spicy)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced sweet bell peppers
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Juice from one small lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions, until tender but still firm to the bite. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and stir a minute or so until just fragrant. Add other veggies and saute until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add cream, lemon juice, 3/4 cup of cheese, and salt & pepper. Turn down heat to simmer. You don’t want to boil it, just heat it up. When pasta is done, drain and add to skillet. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve with remaining parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.