|Spinach Fettuccine with Bacon Alfredo|
My birthday falls around Thanksgiving each year so on Black Friday, instead of fighting crowds at the local shopping mall, I went to visit my parents to celebrate and brought my pasta roller with me. It had been a while since my folks ate pasta from scratch so I thought they'd appreciate the novelty of it. I note the event here because it was the first time I'd used the cutter attachment that came with the roller to make fettuccine. I had been advised against using it because it often does not cut all the way through the sheets however I was feeding four adults plus five hungry teenagers that evening and didn't want to cut it by hand. To my surprise, it worked better than I expected.
I hadn't touched my pasta roller since then and I was itching to make some lately. My #WeekdaySupper dish a couple of weeks ago provided the inspiration. In it, I used store-bought spinach fettuccine to save time but when I looked at the ingredients, spinach wasn't listed. I knew I could do better and seized the opportunity when I saw this week's #SundaySupper Movement theme of Eat Your Greens. This also allowed me to revisit my source for flavored pastas. Long time readers might remember I had trouble with it in the past. More on that later.
A balanced dish in flavor and texture. I got some assistance from The Flavor Bible which notes that bacon, cream, garlic and cheese are some of the foods that complement spinach well.
I took the pasta recipe from pages 102 to 104 of Cook Like A Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer, but adapted it with the addition of spinach using the technique as described in this about.com page. I also substituted some of the ingredients in this alfredo sauce from myrecipes.com.
For the pasta dough:
8 ounces spinach
2 pinches kosher salt, divided
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
For the alfredo:
4 ounces (1 slice=1 ounce) bacon, cut into batons
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper.
1. Make the pasta dough: Coarsely chop the spinach, then wash it thoroughly. Heat the spinach in a pan over medium heat with just the water stuck to the leaves from being washed with 1 pinch kosher salt to wilt, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove it from the heat and let it cool. Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, wrap the spinach in several layers of paper towels and squeeze out the excess water. Blend the spinach, then add it to the egg, egg yolk, olive oil and water and combine. Make the pasta dough, as described in step 1 from this previous ravioli dish.
2. Roll the pasta dough as described in step 2 of the ravioli dish above, then cut the pasta sheets into fettuccine. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat and drop the fettuccine into the water. Once it floats to the top, it's done, remove and set aside while you prepare the sauce, about a minute or two. Reserve at least 1 cup of the pasta water.
3. Prepare the alfredo and finish the dish: In a large skillet, render the bacon fat over medium heat until the bacon is crisp, approximately 4 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, then add garlic and flour to the bacon fat, stirring continually for about a minute. Do not allow the flour to brown. Stir in the cream gradually until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately 2 minutes. Slowly add the cheese until melted, then season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the reserved fettuccine and toss to combine. Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with the bacon.
As I'm gaining more experience with pasta dough, I'm finding that they are like humans because each one is unique and this one definitely fit this generalization. A reader pointed out after I had described my problems with the herbed pasta that it was too dry which is why I like Chef Burrell's ratios of liquid to flour. In this particular instance, it was almost too wet because I had to additional flour in amounts that are greater than previous experiences as I was rolling the dough and I had difficulty separating the strands of fettuccine once passed through the cutter. From a flavor standpoint, the spinach flavor was much stronger than the store bought version and the bacon provided a nice contrast of texture to the dish.
On a side note, I'm a little confused as to what constitutes an alfredo sauce. I've been told that if you go to Italy, it's just scalded cream, but I found many versions online that used a béchamel as a base, such as this one. I also profiled an alfredo last year that relied upon cheese instead of a roux to thicken the sauce, so I must leave by asking, what's authentic?
Other Sunday Supper Participants
Before I go, please visit the other participating bloggers in this week's #SundaySupper event:
Green Light Appetizers and Sides
- Espinacas con Crema (Creamed Spinach) from La Cocina de Leslie
- Steakhouse Style Creamed Spinach from It's Yummi!
- Oven-Fried Green Beans from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
- Irish Champ from girlichef
- Fresh Herb Tabouleh from Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Moroccan Greens from Cooking On The Ranch
- Broccoli and Cheese Soup from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Polenta Crust Creamed Spinach Tart from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes from MealDiva
- Spinach and Artichoke Squares from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Green Rice from Basic N Delicious
- Broccoli and Blue Cheese Tarts from Mess Makes Food
- Avocado Fries from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Spinach Cashew Pakoras with Tangy Date Sauce from Sue's Nutrition Buzz
- Garlicky Italian Green Beans and Potatoes from Webicurean
- Pixie Dust Salad with Avocados, Pixie Tangerines and Radishes from Shockingly Delicious
- Roasted Broccoli Spinach Salad from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Apple, Spinach and Zucchini Salad from Hip Foodie Mom
- Brussels Sprouts Slaw from Hot Momma's Kitchen Chaos
- Asparagus-Fennel-Pea Shoot Salad from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing from The Foodie Army Wife
- Creamy Chicken Pesto Salad from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Eggs and Greens Pizza from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Creamy Green Pizza from The Foodie Patootie
- Shamrock Spinach Crepes from Curious Cuisiniere
- Healthy Green Pasta from Momma's Meals
- Swiss Chard & Sausage Pasta Bake from Delaware Girl Eats
- Smothered Cabbage with Pork from Food Lust People Love
- Spinach Fettuccine with Bacon Alfredo from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Roasted Asparagus Eggs Benedict With Cajun Hollandaise from Having Fun Saving
- Indulgent Pesto Risotto from The Weekend Gourmet
- Twice Baked Turkey Pie with Cabbage from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Slow-Cooker Irish Stout Chicken Stew from FoodieTots
- Chicken and Asparagus Flatbread Pizza from Family Foodie
- Lemon Kiwi Meringue Pie from Desserts Required
- Mint Cookies and Stout Shake from Melanie Makes
- Verde Sangria from Country Girl in the Village
- Baileys Mint Ice Cream & Chocolate Stout Float from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Shamrock Cookies from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Green Tea Latte from Manu's Menu
- Grasshopper Mousse from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Amazing Grass Brownies from Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Leprechaun Ice Cream from Cookistry
- White Chocolate Cupcakes with Pistachio Pudding Frosting from Cookin' Mimi
- Collard Greens, Mushroom, and Cheddar Bread Pudding from The Texan New Yorker
- Coconut Avocado Ice Cream from URBAN BAKES
- Lime Meltaways from Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Mint Cake from NinjaBaking.com
#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.