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Old 03-09-2011, 06:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jacky77 View Post
i will try it tonight. i don't have fresh nutmeg, since i hardly use it, but i will definitely try a dash/pinch.
Thanks everyone!!
A whole nutmeg will keep the flavor longer than the ground stuff because you are not releasing the essential oils and flavors until you grate it. If you don't use it that often then get whole.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #12
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For mine I brown the butter and use a tiny bit of fresh nutmeg.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:05 AM   #13
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I love nutmeg in desserts but not in my alfredo sauce, a friend also puts in it her stuff shells, lasanga, and i can pick it up right away , - She calls it a Italian thing. My opinion --> not a good addition but everyone has different taste.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
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Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in Italian Besciamella - the traditional layer of "white" in a lasagna that most Americans use ricotta for. I can easily see how nutmeg could migrate to Alfredo dishes.

I like a very traditional Italian variant of "Alfredo" using dried spaghetti instead of fettucini, and lot's of black pepper.

For my "Alfredo" I don't use cream. I melt a good hunk of butter in a pan with a cloves worth of garlic paste - cooking until the water in the butter evaporates but the butter has yet to brown. Then I add a couple cups of reserved pasta water, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. To this I add a bunch of good Parmesan and whisk continuously. I add my slightly undercooked pasta to this thin sauce to finish cooking (making sure to toss and stir constantly to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan). As the pasta absorbs more liquid and more liquid evaporates, a wonderful silken sauce consistency develops. I finish it with fine sea salt and lot's of freshly ground black pepper (tossing again), then some freshly grated parmesan on top. It's almost a cross between the flavors/aromas/textures of Alfredo and Carbonara.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher View Post
Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in Italian Besciamella - the traditional layer of "white" in a lasagna that most Americans use ricotta for. I can easily see how nutmeg could migrate to Alfredo dishes.

I like a very traditional Italian variant of "Alfredo" using dried spaghetti instead of fettucini, and lot's of black pepper.

For my "Alfredo" I don't use cream. I melt a good hunk of butter in a pan with a cloves worth of garlic paste - cooking until the water in the butter evaporates but the butter has yet to brown. Then I add a couple cups of reserved pasta water, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. To this I add a bunch of good Parmesan and whisk continuously. I add my slightly undercooked pasta to this thin sauce to finish cooking (making sure to toss and stir constantly to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan). As the pasta absorbs more liquid and more liquid evaporates, a wonderful silken sauce consistency develops. I finish it with fine sea salt and lot's of freshly ground black pepper (tossing again), then some freshly grated parmesan on top. It's almost a cross between the flavors/aromas/textures of Alfredo and Carbonara.

Sounds more like a version of Cacio e Pepe than of Alfredo.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:34 AM   #16
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Yup, thats the dish!

One of the first dishes I cooked when I was little (and allowed to use the stove) was noodles tossed with butter, black pepper, and Parmesan. I loved the flavors and aromas (superior to anything in a box/bag), but it always lacked the sauce consistency of the Lipton/Knorr noodles. So watching the process of making those noodles in sauce that came in the envelopes, I started fooling around with cooking the noodles with the sauce towards the end - and behold the same sort of sauce would form that I was looking for! Later on I saw how chefs at good restaurants prepared pasta dishes like this using reserved pasta water as the sauce base, and incorporated it into my techniques. Using the pasta water actually adds an element that many people look for but can't identify in a great plate of restaurant pasta... the flavor of the pasta!

Minus the garlic (and with Pecorino Romano in place of the Parmesan), the dish I posted above is indeed Cacio e Pepe.

My wife and I were watching some Anthony Bourdain episodes on NetFlix the other day, and a fancy-pants version of this dish was served in the Rome episoide in a bowl made from Frico draped over a bowl.

Check it out! (Skip to 2:40 for the pasta)

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Old 03-09-2011, 09:40 AM   #17
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I saw that episode. I think it was his 100th. Lots of good stuff in there.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:02 PM   #18
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I don't use nutmeg, unless I am making seafood alfredo. I also use it in Seafood Newburg. Only with seafood, I guess. Other than that, no nutmeg for this nut, Meg....
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #19
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i didn't put a lot of nutmeg in..just a dash, not too strong, but there was a slight difference in flavor but not too much. I liked it. hmm, i'll try that one night Nick! thanks!
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #20
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Try a pinch of nutmeg with mushrooms....
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