Real alfredo should never (never!) include cream; the silky sauce is the result of an emulsion between the grated cheese, melted butter, and starchy pasta water. This is part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes.
12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.
Recipe by Carla Lalli Music Photograph by Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott
*I was intrigued, tried it, LOVED it. I do believe in using the best quality ingredients you can get. Once you try the right (the good stuff) balsamic…it’s game over. DELICIOUS! BTW, my enamel cast iron skillet/pot/casserole worked excellent! AND now that I made it, I know I will again but not be afraid 😀 Now I’ll have a better grasp of how high to have the heat, amounts of ingredients, etc..
Why This Recipe Works
Italian sausage with grapes is a great example of the affinity that pork and fruit flavors have for one another. We wanted to pay homage to this simple Italian dish and highlight the attributes that make it so appealing. Taking inspiration from a potsticker cooking method, we use a combination of sautéing and steaming to produce sausages that are nicely browned but moist and juicy. Building the sauce in the same skillet, we cook down seedless red grapes and thinly sliced onion until caramelized to create a sweet but complex sauce. White wine, in addition to balsamic vinegar, lends the dish acidity and complements the grapes. Oregano and pepper contribute earthiness and a touch of spice, while a finish of fresh mint adds brightness. *NOTE FROM THE TEST KITCHEN Our favorite supermarket balsamic vinegar is Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Serve this dish with crusty bread and salad for a heartier meal.
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
1 lb seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise (3 cups)
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
¼ cup water
¼ tsp pepper
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbs chopped fresh mint
* 1. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange sausages in pan and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, about 5 minutes. Tilt skillet and carefully remove excess fat with paper towel.
Distribute grapes and onion over and around sausages.
Add water and immediately cover. Cook, turning sausages once, until they register between 160 and 165 degrees and onions and grapes have softened, about 10 minutes.
* 2. Transfer sausages to paper towel–lined plate and tent with aluminum foil. Return skillet to medium-high heat and stir pepper and salt into grape-onion mixture. Spread grape-onion mixture in even layer in skillet and cook without stirring until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is well browned and grapes are soft but still retain their shape, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium, stir in wine and oregano, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until wine is reduced by half, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar.
* 3. Arrange sausages on serving platter and spoon grape-onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with mint and serve.
The Right Way to Cook Sausage
SAUTÉ AND THEN STEAM
Moderate heat develops flavorful browning without burning. Then, adding a little water to the pan and covering it gently steams the sausages so they cook up juicy.
The point of this recipe is to cook sausage so that it is done (160°-165°), with good color and FLAVOR, but not burst/split open. And it worked…was great!
Welcome to Cooking Without Recipes, in which we teach you how to make a dish we love, but don’t worry too much about the nitty-gritty details of the recipe, so you can create your own spin. Every day this week, we’ll be bringing you a staffer’s favorite quick dinner—we’re talking under 15 minutes. Seriously. Today, integrated marketing associate Jordan Schaefer reaches for an old favorite.
With two small kids and a limited amount of time, I’m always open to new ways to get a healthy, fast dinner on the table. One afternoon, after overhearing a coworker tell her husband she was making sausage and white beans for dinner, I thought: That could work. Great Northern beans and sweet Italian sausage are grocery staples in our family, and with a few seasonal tweaks, this winning combo has become a year-round foundation for a quick, delicious dinner that’s ready in no time. Here’s how I do it:
Drain and rinse one can of white beans (we use Great Northern or cannellini). Remove two to three sweet Italian sausages from their casings and crumble into a nonstick skillet with some olive oil over medium-high heat, breaking up any large pieces with a fork. When sausage is almost cooked through, about five minutes, add beans and toss until warm. If the beans and sausage get dry, add a splash of white wine or chicken stock. Add a big handful of shredded kale until slightly wilted. Top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, shaved Parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, and crushed red pepper flakes, if you crave some heat. I like to mix this up in the summer by skipping the kale and topping with fresh arugulaand cherry tomatoes dressed lightly with lemon and olive oil.
If you have a few extra minutes to spare, this is also delicious with a poached orfried egg.
We can not even begin to tell you how much we love this easy lemon chicken recipe. It’s far from boring. Instead the chicken is juicy, flavorful and easy to make. It bursts with lemon flavor along with herbs, such as oregano and thyme, as well as toasted garlic and tangy mustard.
It all starts with chicken thighs that we’ve rubbed with mustard, lemon zest and dried herbs. Then, we sear it in a hot pan, creating a golden brown crust. After that, we add lots of tart lemon juice and savory chicken stock then slide it into a hot oven until juicy and cooked through.
*[This recipe can be a good use for leftover beef]
The best beef Stroganoff simply starts with good ingredients, like grass-fed (free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotic) or organic beef… sautéed with onions, mushrooms and sour cream.
Beef is the best source of iron and vitamin B-12, which aids the metabolism of every cell in your body.
For this recipe I use common white button mushrooms.
Just trim the stem ends and wipe the caps clean with a dry towel.
Note – when sour cream is cooked it must be heated slowly over low heat or it will separate. Do not allow it to boil. Also, be careful not to over stir sour cream because it can thin and curdle.
Serve over buttered noodles.
2 lbs of medium to rare cooked lean Roast Beef (or more) 😀
Dash of salt (or to taste, which you do thru-out cooking) 😉
Dash of fresh cracked black pepper
4 ounces of butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3 cups no salt beef broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
Couple splashes Worcestershire
12 ounces fresh button mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 small onion chopped
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Clean the mushrooms by brushing off all dirt and particles.
2. Slice and cut the roast beef into strips ½ inch thick by 2 inches long.
3. In a large, heavy skillet or pan, melt 2oz of butter on medium heat. Sautee the mushrooms with a dash of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes, or until they are nice and golden brown and their liquid has been released and cooked off. Remove and place in a container to the side.
4. Melt 2oz butter with 2oz of olive oil, and add the beef strips. Stir until cooked and remove to a container. If using leftovers, heat thru.
5. Melt the remaining 2oz of butter and cook the onions and garlic till translucent.
6. Sprinkle with the flour.
7. Pour 2 cups of broth in the pan and boil stirring constantly.
8. Lower the heat and stir in Worcestershire.
9. Add the meat and mushrooms and remaining broth. Cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes until the meat is tender.
10. Five minutes before serving, stir in the sour cream.
11. Check seasoning, dalt and pepper to taste, serve over wide flat noodles.