I've had mixed results making Alfredo sauce at home. I've made a couple of versions containing cream cheese that turned out really well, but I don't really consider those versions to be Alfredo sauce in the traditional sense. Typically, when I try to make a traditional version of the sauce, the flavor is delicious but the texture is somewhat grainy. This time, though, my sauce was perfect, so I made sure to take very careful notes so I could share exactly what I did. I think they key is using freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (it's not as heavy as the pre-grated or -shredded versions), adding it to the sauce just a little bit at a time, and ensuring that the cheese is completely melted before adding the next bit.
I mixed my gorgeous Alfredo sauce with fettuccine and piled it on a plate, along with sliced chicken breasts that I flavored with Cajun seasoning and sauteed (yes, the Cajun kick is still going strong). The spicy chicken worked perfectly with the velvety, creamy flavor of the sauce. I can think of 50 different ways I'd like to jazz up this fettuccine Alfredo now that I've perfected it, and I guarantee I will be trying all of them! (Although I know I will come back to this version again and again, because I think we all know how I feel about Cajun flavors by now.)
Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pound fettuccine or linguine
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves minced garlic
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with Cajun seasoning. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and saute until browned and cooked through. Set aside and cover with foil.
2. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
3. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add garlic and cook gently until fragrant. Add cream and bring to a boil. Let boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly, then reduce heat. Add parmesan cheese a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition to assure that the cheese is melted into the sauce. Over low heat, continue to cook the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Stir the sauce into the fettuccine. Slice chicken at an angle. Top each serving of pasta with sliced chicken.