Updated 04/28/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus, Peas, Vidalia Onion and Smoked Ham
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one 1-pound box fettuccine pasta
1/2 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 - 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced asparagus
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced smoked ham
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese (plus more for garnish)
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
approx. 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
Get a large pot of water going for cooking the fettuccine and, while that is coming to a boil, you should have time to do most of the knife work involved.
When you're close to being ready to cook the fettuccine, add a couple of Tbs of butter to another wide, heavy bottomed pan and add 1/2 large diced Vidalia onion and cook to soften.
Once the water does come to a boil, add the fettuccine to that and stir that around a bit.
Next, add 1 large minced clove of garlic to the softened onions and cook that for a minute. Then add 1- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced asparagus and cook that for a minute, and then add 3 cups of heavy cream (or light cream) and bring it up to a simmer.
Adjust the heat on the cream. You want it reducing at a good rate but not boiling over.
Drain the pasta when it's done, but don't run any cold water over it. Add it back to the pot and toss it with olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Once the cream has reduced by about half, add about 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup diced smoked ham, 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese, about 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill. Then add the pasta to that, toss to coat and finish by gently stirring in a good handful of sliced tomatoes.
Substitute other herbs, like tarragon, basil, or a combination, in place of the dill. Use your judgement though, you may not want to add as much tarragon as you might dill or basil.