A few weeks ago my friend and I had a Fettucine Alfredo showdown. We made and compared two “classic” (read: simple) recipes for Fettucine Alfredo. Though we liked both recipes the winner ended up being the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, which I had made several times before. The recipe is so simple, so basic, and so quick but the pasta turns out seriously so amazing and creamy you would think it’s some complicated and ridiculous recipe made at a restaurant or by professional chef. So it’s the Pioneer Woman’s basic recipe that I used as the base for this pasta dish.
I had a pint of cherry tomatoes I’d bought over a week ago (for what purpose I couldn’t recall), and I needed to use them up before they went bad. I’d found some (chicken) andouille sausage in the bottom of my freezer earlier when I was looking for some pork breakfast sausage I swear I had in there. I thought the tomato and andouille sausage would go nicely in a Cajun-style alfredo pasta. I was right!
- 1 pound noodles
- ½ c. (1 stick) butter
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 fully-cooked andouille sausages (approximately 3 ounces each)
- blackened seasoning
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cherry tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and place on a half cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the tomatoes have shriveled a bit, burst and maybe even browned. By the time the tomatoes have finished roasting you should be ready to assemble the dish.
- Meanwhile, get pasta and sauce started. Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl.
- Get the sausage cooking. Slice the sausages on a diagonal not all the way through and keeping the links in tact. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle the links with blackened seasoning. Cook over medium-high heat until the links are blackened, turning so that all sides are blackened/cooked evenly.
- Begin cooking pasta according to package directions. Reserve some pasta water for later.
- Meanwhile in a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top of the bowl that contains the shredded cheese.
- Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl with cheese and cream.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan. Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.
- Top the pasta with roasted tomatoes, andouille sausage links and additional Parmesan cheese.
- Then mix everything together. Serve immediately topped with more Parmesan cheese if you’re so inclined.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The Pioneer Woman says you must use heavy cream in this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of making fattening items “light” or “thin.” I think if you’re trying to lose weight you should just not eat Fettucine Alfredo. Or ice-cream. Or at least not eat huge helpings of either. So while I wholeheartedly agree that you should use heavy cream if you can, I will let you know that if you do not have heavy cream on hand you can probably substitute and it will turn out just fine. I did for this dish.
I had a tiny amount of heavy cream in my fridge but plenty of half-and-half. So in my measuring cup I added the bit of heavy cream and nearly filled the rest up with half-and-half. I put a dollop of Greek yogurt in the mix to retain that thickness that goes along with heavy cream. I don’t think anyone would have noticed the difference. I know I didn’t.