Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus

Ready to go at a moment's notice, this asparagus-embellished classic is not only creamy, quick, and delicious, but it dirties only one pot.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3/4 pound fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Preparation

  1. 1. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until almost done, about 8 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook until it and the pasta are just done, about 4 minutes longer.
  2. 2. Drain the pasta and asparagus. Toss with the butter, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.
  3. Variations: Fettuccine Alfredo: Eliminate the asparagus.
  4. Fettuccine Alfredo with Ham and Peas: Eliminate the asparagus. Add 1 cup frozen peas to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Toss 1/4 pound of deli ham, cut into matchstick strips, with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Fettuccine Alfredo with Fresh Mixed Herbs: Eliminate the asparagus. Toss in 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and/or chives, at the end.
  6. Fettuccine Alfredo with Parsley and Sage: Eliminate the asparagus. Toss in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage at the end.
  7. Wine Recommendation: A forcefully acidic white wine is a natural with asparagus and will pierce the richness of the sauce. Try one of the sauvignon blancs from New Zealand or a vernaccia from Italy.
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