Aug 23, 2012

The magic that comes from simplicity

Tonight I finally succeeded in making the perfect plate of Spaghetti Alfredo. It  was so simple I'm surprised it took me this long to get it right.

I can remember the moment I first tasted the dish. It was sometime in 2001 when my dad received his MBA. We were at tha banquet following the graduation ceremony and I decided to try this peculiar, pale-looking pasta dish. I was smitten from the first mouthful.

The sauce was creamy but not heavy. There was a hint of some kind of cheese but not overwhelming enough for me to pinpoint. Interestingly enough, it reminded me of Laksa Kelantan, a popular laksa dish from my hometown.

Ever since then I had been trying to recreate this pasta dish. The bolognaise sauce was a breeze to me by then but the alfredo eluded me. I must have tried at least a dozen different recipes and reluctantly swallowed half a dozen failed concoctions. I've used fresh milk and powedered milk, margerine and olive oil, chicken stock and beef boullion, crumbled and grated Parmesan. But tonight, finally, I got it right. And it was surprisingly simple.

All it took was some butter, heavy cream and *Parmigiano in the right proportions. It also took keeping myself calm when the butter initially separated from the cream or when the Romano initially refused to dissolve. When I finally stirred the pasta in and sprinkled some fresh chopped parsley from the backyard, the dish looked, smelled and tasted like the one I first had over ten years ago. And where did the recipe come from? An old cookbook I got from a thrifstore for 50 cents.

Magic, isn't it?

Bon appetit.

*I used Romano cheese instead because I didn't have any Parmigiano at hand. The result was the same as far as I could taste.

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