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Easy Fettuccine Alfredo perfect for cool nights

Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Easy Fettuccine Alfredo perfect for cool nights

Fettuccine Alfredo comes together quickly, in less than 15 minutes.

While driving down Route 7 Tuesday morning , I was amazed at how the trees had turned colors, almost overnight it seems. Did they know Monday was the official start to autumn and an alarm went off for their leaves to change?

OK, I'll admit it — I'm in fall denial. I've overlooked the cooler nights, my dog glued to me in bed at night to keep warm and the invasion of pumpkin-spice into everything imaginable. I'm a spring and summer junkie, give me those hot humid days and nights. Fall means winter is coming — and winter means boots, heavy sweaters and jackets, snow and ice, and praying to the MassHighway Gods I don't get stuck or spin out of control on Route 7. (I owe my undying love and gratitude to the crews that keep Route 7 open.)

So, with fall's arrival, I unearthed my crockpot, soup pot and electric frying pan in anticipation of making all of my fall and winter comfort foods — chili, soup, meatloaf and mac and cheese. And speaking of comfort foods ...

When a reader spotted me at the supermarket last week, she asked if I had a recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo. I do — one that has withstood the annals of time. A co-worker shared it with me literally decades ago when I needed a dish to impress a boyfriend. It did impress him, as it did the next man in my life, who liked it so much he married me! (Although, I think my mom's whoopie pies helped seal the deal.)

When I make this, I usually double the recipe because although the original claims to feed two people, it's never enough. I use fettuccine noodles in place of the egg noodles, light cream and the best Parmesan I can find — and afford. Have everything ready in advance, the dish moves along quickly and is ready in well under 15 minutes from start to finish.

FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups 1/2-inch-wide egg noodles

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

1 egg

1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 3 quarts of water, with the salt added, to a full boil in a saucepan.

Throw in the noodles and boil for exactly 8 minutes, then remove from heat and pour into a colander to drain.

Melt the butter over low heat in a medium-sized heavy skillet. As soon as the butter is melted (do not let it brown!), add the drained noodles to the skillet, then stir in the cream.

Beat the egg separately in a small bowl, then stir the beaten egg into the noodles. Add the grated Parmesan by sprinkling it over the surface of the noodles and stirring. Cover the skillet and allow the noodles to heat through without boiling.

Just before serving, sprinkle with black pepper. Serve on warm plates.

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