Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Heart Attack in a Bowl

There's nothing like putting your life on the line for dinner. And I'm not talking about a Wild Kingdom scenario where Marlin Perkins sends Jim off in his short shorts to get some alligator steaks to grill. No, I'm talking about something more insidious here, something that, like kindness, will kill you with its soft, silky touch.

It had been years since I'd made my killer alfredo sauce for pasta, since when Dave became lactose-intolerant it went on the list of verboten foods along with croissants and much of French cuisine. So with Dave due back in town after a visit with his mom, my son and I decided on one last lactose-packed hurrah with this buttery, fat-on-fat creamy dish of danger. To top it off, I bought a package of thinly sliced pancetta rounds that I fried to make bacon crisps to garnish the pasta, and then used the rendered fat to make a warm bacon dressing for a butter lettuce salad (just to say we did have one healthy thing—the lettuce, that is—for dinner).

You can obviously serve this as a side dish as is, but it's also great with steamed broccoli or a chiffonade of kale mixed into the sauce at the last minute, or with shredded chicken or chunks of fried pancetta. For some kick, run fresh garlic through a garlic press and add that to the sauce, or sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.

I'm not saying you should have your cholesterol checked before diving in, but if you do decide to make this for dinner, it might be a good idea to have 911 on speed dial and put the phone next to your bowl. Just in case.

Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

1 lb. dried pasta
2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Pour cream into a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently to keep it from scorching. Reduce by half. Stir in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm while pasta cooks. Add pasta to boiling water and cook till al dente. Drain pasta and put in serving bowl. Pour sauce over the top and mix in. Serve with parmesan on the side.

* * *

Warm Bacon Dressing

Rendered fat from 4 slices of bacon
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. brown or white sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat fat in small pan. Whisk in remaining ingredients and drizzle over salad greens. Toss and serve.


Erin said...

This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it!

Kathleen Bauer said...

It really is great…let me know what you think, and how you serve it!