Bryan and his brother Andrew consider the tomato sauce they make together one of the most delicious possible. It has more depth, complexity, and flavor than most other sauces they've had. They also make a pretty mean tomato cream sauce. But, when talking about sauce, they eventually get to the topic of alfredo sauce, and usually determine that there's not much that can be done with it.
The alfredo sauce we made the other night might be proof to the contrary.
|That sounds like a challenge. I'm up for a challenge.|
Making the Dish
What You'll Need
1/2 lb penne
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
1 cup light cream
1/4 cup pecorino romano
1 tablespoon bianca cheese
1 egg yolk
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Start off by bringing a pot of salted water to boil. The sauce doesn't take too long to pull together, so it should be ready by the time the water has boiled and the pasta has cooked.
While the water is boiling, start up your sauce by melting a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick pan. Once the butter has melted, add some garlic and simmer gently until the garlic has just started to turn pale golden brown, and then add a cup of light cream, mix together, and simmer for a few minutes.
|Mixing in the cream to the butter and garlic.|
While the cream is simmering, prepare your shrimp and spinach. For the sake of simplicity, we bought pre-cooked shrimp, but if you have more time and want to cook the shrimp yourself, feel free. Steam the spinach until it is just wilted, and then take it out of the steamer and press all the water out.
|Pressing the water out of the spinach.|
Gourmet tip: pressing the water out of the spinach is really important for the final product. If there's excess water in the spinach when you add it to your alfredo sauce, it will make it soupy and green. So press that water out as much as possible.Into a separate pan, throw in some garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil, and simmer until the garlic starts to cook, then throw in the shrimp and spinach and toss around until it is nicely coated with the garlic and pepper infused oil. Sprinkle a touch of salt and pepper over everything and toss some more, and then remove from the heat.
|Mixing together the garlic, shrimp, spinach, and crushed red pepper.|
|Add about a tablespoon of the creamy cheese to the cream sauce mixture.|
Into the cream, add one tablespoon of a creamy cheese. We used bianca cheese, but you could probably use goat cheese or mascarpone to get a similar result. Whisk in the cheese until it is melted and thoroughly incorporated.
|The flavored garlic and shrimp is added to the creamy sauce.|
Finally, take the spinach and shrimp and throw it into the cream sauce, and toss together until everything is incorporated. At this point, your penne should be about done cooking, so you can add that to the cream sauce and toss it together over the heat.
|Tossing the pasta together with the shrimp and spinach alfredo sauce.|
For the final step, take one egg and separate the yolk from the egg whites. Drop the yolk into a mixing bowl.
|Separating the yolk from the white using the shell.|
|Tossing everything together to incorporate the yolk and the cheese throughout the alfredo sauce.|
Serve the pasta in a warm bowl and top with a bit of fresh parsley and grated pecorino if desired. The shrimp and spinach should be flavorful with a subtle spicy kick, contrasting nicely the cool, creamy flavor of the sauce.
|Nom, that looks good. Can I have some please??|
Give this a try and let us know if it works out for you. And we're always looking for new things to try, so let us know what your favorite pasta sauce is in the comments!