Fettuccine Alfredo is one of my favorite dishes. For many years, however, making it always left me with the feeling that I was missing something. Fortunately, finally, I figured it out. In order for fettuccine Alfredo to leave you with a true feeling of fulfillment, you need to make an authentic Alfredo sauce.
When I started making Alfredo sauce, the internet was pretty much non-existent. Yeah, that might seem like a long time ago to some of you, even ‘before your time’ to a few, but in reality the internet has not been available to the extent it is today for very long. The recipe I used was given to me by a friend, my own age (early 20’s) who I thought had more cooking experience than myself. She didn’t really have more cooking experience, but she did make Alfredo and I didn’t, so I was impressed. This still holds true today when I meet someone who makes a dish that I don’t. No matter if it’s the only dish they can make, if they can make it and I don’t, they have one up on me.
Anyway, the recipe I received was basically making a white sauce and adding store-bought Parmesan cheese. Although it was ‘okay,’ as I said, it just didn’t taste right. There was something missing.
Fortunately, through my years of cooking I have learned that when something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. This meant that my search for a true Alfredo sauce was ongoing until I could finally nail it.
Although I had many cookbooks, I never found what I thought was a good version. It wasn’t until I turned to the internet for the answer that my quest for a recipe for true Alfredo sauce began to take form. With tons of recipes to choose from, I finally ‘nailed it’ about four or five years ago. How I could have survived so long without this sauce…I’ll never know because once I finally got it right, the family couldn’t get enough of it.
Of course, once I got Alfredo sauce down, this opened up a whole new world of possibilities and meals. One of my favorite uses for this would be Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo Stuffed Shells. This combines the best of all worlds. You get pasta, chicken, mushrooms, and rich, creamy Alfredo sauce. Could it get much better? (That’s rhetorical!)
Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- 1 – 12 oz. Package Jumbo Pasta Shells
- 2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into ¼” to ½” pieces
- ¾ Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 8 Ounces Baby Portobello Mushrooms, diced
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Pound Fresh Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Cup Grated Asiago Cheese
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
- 2 tsp. Dried Parsley Flakes
- 3/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- For Alfredo Sauce:
- ½ Cup Butter, cubed
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
- 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1½ Cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Combine chicken and buttermilk in medium bowl; let sit 1 – 2 hours.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms to pan and continue to cook until chicken is no longer pink and mushrooms have released their juices. Drain.
- In a medium bowl, combine egg, ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and seasonings.
- Stir in drained chicken and mushrooms.
- Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoon of cheese/chicken mixture and place in a greases 13×9 baking pan (*See note).
- In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add salt and garlic to pan and cook 1 minute.
- Add cream and cook 5 minutes longer.
- Add remaining 1½ cups Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until thickened (**See note).
- Pour half the sauce over shells, top with remaining mozzarella cheese, cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.
- Serve with remaining sauce.
*This recipe will make approximately 35 shells. I like to cook up half the shells for dinner and then freeze the remaining shells on a baking sheet. Once frozen I store in a freezer bag for a later time. To use: Place frozen shells in a greased 13×9 pan and thaw in fridge overnight. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature before baking as directed.
**Confession time! Okay, so I have a little cheat I use on many a sauce when it comes to thickening them. If I am not patient enough, or for some reason if a sauce just won’t thicken to a consistency I want, I will combine 2 tsp. cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. water and stir into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a low boil and it will thicken up perfectly.
Recipe by: Tilly Frueh – Simply Grateful Cooking 2018
I am so thrilled with my version of Alfredo sauce and equally as thrilled with the endless possibilities for it. Even Grace’s boyfriend has taken my recipe and he and Grace have enjoyed making it together at his place.
Having a great recipe that everyone enjoys when I make is is awesome. Having a great recipe that becomes part of another’s recipe arsenal — well, that’s just something I am Simply Grateful for.