YIELD: 4-6 servings | TIME: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons diced onion for additional flavor (optional)
Grated fresh nutmeg (just a pinch, flavor can overtake the dish)
Béchamel sauce (from above)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup of stock (chicken or vegetable – can use unsalted boxed stock)
¾ pound of your favorite pasta. Use fun shapes for the kids 4 chicken cutlets ½ of a fresh lemonStep 1: Make Béchamel by melting butter in a sauce pan. Then add flour and stir until cooked through. The consistency will be a light blond color and creamy, creating what is referred to as a Roux. Must stir constantly to avoid having it burn. In a separate sauce pan put milk and heat until slightly hotter than warm. Slowly pour milk into the Roux, whisking to combine and keep the mixture from clumping. Add the onions if you like and grate a few grinds of fresh nutmeg. Turn temperature down on low and simmer until mixture thickens and is creamy.
Step 2: Whisk in grated Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and stock. Keep whisking to combine and allow it to further thicken.
Step 3: Once mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (you are not looking for a super thick sauce, but thick enough to coat the pasta and not be runny) you can take off the heat and allow to sit.
Step 4: Meanwhile heat a stockpot of water and bring to boil. Once the water is boiling put a palm full of salt in the water. Enough salt to flavor the water, but not be overly salty. Once water is boiling add pasta of your choice and cook per package instructions. I generally cook one minute less than suggested and finish off in the Alfredo sauce.
Step 5: Drain pasta and add to Alfredo sauce to combine. Add grilled chicken if you like.
Optional: Take 4 chicken cutlets. These are boneless chicken breasts that have been sliced into thinner pieces. I prefer these for this recipe because they cook faster and you are less likely to overcook them and make them dry. Season each piece with salt and pepper. Grill in a hot grill pan 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through (juices run clear). Place on a plate and squeeze a half of lemon over them and cover with foil. This will keep them moist while you finish the sauce and pasta. You could do this step first if you wish and allow them to rest while you make the rest of the ingredients. When ready slice each chicken cutlet and serve on top of the pasta coated with the Alfredo sauce.