The original Fettucine Alfredo recipe was simply butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese tossed with fettucine pasta. When the dish traveled to American we complicated it a bit, coming up with variations that substituted cream, boosted the flavor with garlic, and made it chunkier with the addition of shrimp, chicken, or broccoli. Our version steers between tradition and innovation; the butter is still there, but we’re using a lot of ricotta cheese and a little Parmesan instead of Parmigiano.
1 pound ricotta
7 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus extra for passing around the table)
1 pound fettucine
1-2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
First put the water on to boil for the pasta, and place the serving plates in a warm oven. Place the ricotta and milk in a medium saucepan, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan. On low setting, heat the cheese mixture until very warm, and hold at that temperature.
Cook the fettucine in rapidly boiling water until al dente (done but slightly chewy). Drain, return the pasta to the pot and the pot to the stove. Add the butter, and stir until pasta is coated. Add the ricotta, and stir until well mixed. Mix in the parsley and salt to taste. Grate some black pepper over the top, and serve immediately on the heated plates. Pass the Parmesan. Serves 4 to 5.
See Whey to Go: Eat Low Fat Ricotta Cheese and Yogurt Cheese for more ricotta cheese recipes.