Friday, February 28, 2014

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

Did you know that Olive Garden shares recipes on their website? I didn't either! You should check it out, I bet they have your favorite on there. Up until a few months ago I thought their alfredo sauce recipe was a well-hidden secret…then I stumbled across the Recipes tab and saw that they have several, if not all of their recipes listed on their website. Who knew?! I'm sure they remove one step or ingredient to keep their secrets well, secret, but still how cool is that? I've never heard of a big, famous chain restaurant like that actually SHARING their recipes with the public. Usually its all hush-hush. I don't know why this isn't big news, broadcasted and exclaimed about in every corner of the media. So here's my slightly tweaked version of Olive Garden's alfredo.

Makes 4 Servings

3 cups half and half
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Romano cheese combo
6 egg yolks
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (to start, you may need more to taste)

Place egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and beat slightly. Heat half and half in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until it starts to simmer. Keeping the pan on the burner, turn the heat off and slowly mix in the grated cheese until melted. Remove from heat. Slowly ladle a small amount of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Keep adding ladles of cream to the yolks until they're a light yellow and successfully tempered. Stir the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan and return the pan to the burner, turning the heat on medium-low. Stir continually until it reaches a simmer. Take off the heat and stir in seasonings, tasting and adding more as desired. Serve over warm pasta with additional cheese if you like.

So you'll notice in my photos that of course that is not fettuccine. Sadly, I was out of fettuccine and didn't realize it so we suffered through using angel hair instead. ;) Today was Early Release day (as is every Friday) for my kiddos so this made a delicious lunch for them to devour along with a little garlic bread. I'm positive my 4-year-old is going through another growth spurt because he kept asking for more, more, more, until finally on his fourth little bowl I had to tell him that was enough. Silly boy, he is just growing like crazy. Makes me sad. One thing you'll notice about this recipe is that it doesn't use heavy whipping cream, butter or garlic. I know, isn't it madness?! I couldn't believe it. That's why I added some garlic powder to it. I also used half and half rather than milk and cream…since, you know, that's what half and half is…half milk…half cream… Anyway, next time I make alfredo, I'm for sure going to tweak this recipe even further because I feel like it's just sacrilege to NOT have butter or real garlic in alfredo sauce. I mean, come on, garlic and butter are to alfredo sauce what tomatoes are to spaghetti sauce, ya feel me? It's like having the yin without the yang. Or like NYC without the Statue of Liberty. It's just not done. And I can't believe OG has gotten away with it for so long. I am going to choose to believe that that's the "secret" ingredient that they left out of the recipe on their webpage. And with that, I'll be able to sleep tonight. Have a great weekend, folks! :)

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