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It’s way too cold outside. So cold that my hands are a bit cracked and my nose gets frozen when I step outdoors.

Ah, winter. The reason for those extra 10 pounds. Let’s face it—nobody wants to brave the -20°C weather. We all want to be on the couch, a bowl of pasta in hand, catching up on Netflix.

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Which is what I’m doing right now—I quickly whipped up a bowl of Fettuccine Alfredo, adapted from Emeril, and topped it off with fresh Italian Pancetta. The result is: cream sauce with a hint of that sweet and slightly smoky garlic, clinging on to perfectly cooked, al dente fettuccine. A combo nicely contrasted but complemented by the slightly salty, crispy pancetta, and finally topped with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy.

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But first, there are two crucial things you need to know when making this pasta:

  1. Fry the pancetta

You want the pancetta to be crispy!IMG_8806

  1. Sweat the garlic and shallot

Sweating, or cooking the garlic and shallot in oil under low heat, allows you to draw out the ingredient’s aroma and flavors. You don’t want to burn both so make sure you take the time to do this important step.IMG_8807

Enjoy this simple dish and get the recipe below!

Fettucine Alfredo with Pancetta

Adapted from Emeril Lagassi

Ingredients

1 pound dried fettuccine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
500g dried fettuccine

1. Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

2. While the pasta is cooking, fry the pancetta in pan until crispy. Remove pancetta when cooked, then melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sweat garlic and shallots and saute until translucent tender. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the Parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

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