Food often tells the story of our lives. The foods we love; the ones we hate. The meals we share with friends and family over laughs and sometimes tears. Food is such a huge part of our lives, it’s sometimes hard to explain.
For me that food has been fettuccine alfredo. I have eaten it so many time at so many different places and shared so many memories over it, most good, a couple not so good.
I ate it at restaurants more times than I can count before I ever made it at home. It was one of my Granny’s favorites too, and we typically went to that chain restaurant that comes to mind when anyone mentions Italian food and I would honestly prefer not to eat at these days.
Still, I loved it then. We took Granny there so many times. We went late on the day of the NFC championship game because I just had to see the halftime performer (even though I could not for the life of me tell you who that was now). They were out of alfredo sauce once. That became a big thing.
Then we started trying other restaurants. One had too much nutmeg and I sometimes still wonder if I experienced some of the side effects one can when consuming too much nutmeg. Really, there was a lot of nutmeg. A LOT.
Carrabba’s became my favorite and I still crave that creamy pasta with a mix of cheeses that was so wonderfully balanced. Mom, Dad, Granny, and I celebrated my eighth grade graduation there and it was the topper to a wonderful day that held so much promise. We laughed. We talked. We ate pasta. It doesn’t get better than that.
Somewhere around that time, Mom and I began making my favorite dish at home. I think it was a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis and involved about as much cream, butter, and cheese as you would imagine. We ate that on Friday nights when I didn’t have to worry about school the next day and were lonely waiting for Dad to come home from his off shift. We ate it on holidays, excluding that one when Mom accidentally grated her finger because we couldn’t finish making it and I hated that Christmas so much.
One dish holds a lot of memories and power over me. In fact, I’m not sure if we ever made it exactly that way after that incident. For a long time we didn’t use that grater and I still get a jolt of fear when I use it now and then.
This is not fettucine alfredo.
But it reminds me of it. Kind of like a simpler, easier to make, lighter version, which is how I roll most of the time these days. Cacio e Pepe is comfort food that doesn’t have to be saved for a special occasion with only a few ingredients.
Even the parmesan frico adds flair without fuss. It’s easy to make and makes the dish feel special because every day should feel special as new food memories are just waiting to be made.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring water in a medium stockpot to a boil. Add the pasta and garlic and cook one minute short of the cooking instructions on the box.
- While the pasta cooks. Take one cup of the parmesan and spread it into an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, or really a couple pieces of foil lined with parchment work for no clean up. Bake for about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye. Once it is melted and light golden brown, remove from the oven, and allow to cool and harden.
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water and drain it. Remove the garlic cloves. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the pasta water, oil, remaining cheese, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, tossing the pasta constantly. Once the sauce has thickened slightly and come together, remove from the heat and serve immediately with more cheese, pepper, and parsley.
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes! Thanks to Em for managing this week’s event!
Simple Dinner Ideas for Two
ENTREES FOR TWO
- Air Fryer Cajun Shrimp by Wholistic Woman
- Beef Carpaccio with Truffle Vinaigrette by Caroline’s Cooking
- Butter Poached Cod with Lentils by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cacio e Pepe with Parmesan Frico by Pies and Plots
- Chicken Mushroom Stuffed Squash by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cheesy Chicken with Broccoli by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta by Brunch-n-Bites
- Filet with Crabéarnaise by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Peppered Chicken with Saffron Polenta by Gourmet Everyday
- Sausage and Vegetable Orzo by Hot Eats and Cool Reads
- Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Potatoes by Sunday Supper Movement
- Shrimp Biranyi by Our Good Life
- Shrimp Canneloni by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Teriyaki Rice Bowl by Life Tastes Good
DESSERTS FOR TWO
- Chocolate Cherry Skillet Cookie by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies for 2 by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Kahlua Tiramisu for Two by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.